Updated: Apr 6
· Often feel tense?
· Feel cold sensations in your hands and feet?
· Noticing yourself yawning often?
· Wake up with a dry mouth? Wake up through the night?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above chances are you’re breathing too much, and breathing through your mouth instead of your nose.
Why is this important? And how does addressing the above symptoms help you as an athlete?
Simple: IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND RECOVERY.
Bonus: Better quality of sleep.
Now let’s get our science on to dive into WHY this is.
First some terminology to help guide our understanding:
· DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING - generally a deeper, slower breath involving the diaphragm usually associated with nasal breathing
· THORACIC BREATHING - generally a shallower, faster breath using the upper parts of the lungs, usually associated with mouth breathing
· END TITAL CARBON DIOXIDE (etC02) - the level of carbon dioxide (02) that is released at the end of an exhaled breath.
When comparing a diaphragmatic breather to a thoracic breather we find the etC02 measurement at rest is significantly higher for the diaphragmatic breather.
· Diaphragmatic breather =35.47mmHg
· Thoracic breather =32.14mmHg
Values of less than 35mmHg typically indicate the presence of a breathing pattern disorder. (Bradley & Esformes, 2014).
Breathing pattern disorders results in levels of C02 in the body that are too low, which leads to:
· A reduction of delivery of oxygen to the brain and muscles
· Blood vessels become more constricted (reduce in size)
· Airways become more constricted
· Decreased PH of the blood
Above are all key indicators of poor health that can lead to a multitude of issues, all will impact on your performance and recovery.
And isn’t it amazing that HOW YOU BREATHE can change this.
If you want to make simple and immediately actionable changes to your breathing, performance and recovery contact me for a BREATHING ASSESSMENT and BREATH TRAINING PROGRAM.