Breathing Tips: Keep Your Mouth Moving

by Dana on May 19, 2010

We all do it at some point. We are concentrating so hard while exercising that we hold our breath thereby making our workouts that much more difficult and less effective. I wanted to learn about any simple tips people had regarding how to keep from holding their breath so I posed the question to the group on Twitter.

@Sea_Breeze reminded me of a smart technique when she said, “to avoid holding my breath? I keep a running partner that forces me to talk constantly.”

This got me thinking and helped me with the post’s title: when we keep our mouths moving while we exercise we automatically have to keep breathing. Now, I’m not advocating chatting so much that you lose sight of your goals (be it number of reps or minutes per mile) but we all know how much faster our time on a cardio machine (or outdoors) goes if we can focus on something other than the digital display counting the minutes until we’re done.

If working out with a partner isn’t your thing, or it’s difficult to do because of scheduling conflicts, then singing to yourself (it doesn’t have to be out loud for everyone to hear, mind you) is another way to keep your mouth moving. Doing a silly dance in between sets while you’re singing is optional, although it will burn more calories.

If neither of these options work, set up a simple counting cadence that you say softly to yourself. When lifting, count the rep while you take it up and while you take it down. Many trainers suggest a down-count of five and an up-count of one if you’re not doing super sets or something comparable.

How do you keep your breath in check while you’re exercising? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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1 Emily May 19, 2010 at 3:20 AM

This is a great post! I often find myself holding my breath while doing reps. Counting out loud (albeit quietly so I don’t embarrass myself) sounds like a great option!

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