If you’re beginning an exercise program, or getting ready to step
up the level at which you are training, be prepared for some
Anytime you resume training after a layoff, or begin to train more
intensely, your body needs some time to adapt.
When it comes to aerobic types of activities, this means you may
become breathless more quickly than you expected.
If you are out of shape, or have any kind of lung condition (whether
acute or chronic) you may be more sensitive to the sensation of
In the past, my asthma would sometimes influence how sensitive I
was mentally to any breathlessness. When I was training and
starting to get really out of breath, I would always ask myself,
“Is this workout really that hard, or am I this breathless because
of my asthma?”
It takes experience and sensitivity to be able to feel the
difference. And sometimes, truth be told, you just don’t know for
At any rate, when you do get out of breath, there is an easy
technique you can use to help normalize your breathing, and help
you feel better.
I call it the “Rapid Exhale” technique. Pretty original, huh?
Quite simply, you inhale through your nose, as deeply as you can
at the moment. Then, without hesitating, you make an “O” shape
with your mouth and exhale quickly through your mouth.
You are trying to exhale most, not all, of the air in your lungs
as quickly as possible. So during the exhale, your cheeks should
puff out. This produces a back pressure in your lungs. You then
quietly exhale any remaining air.
Repeat this two or three times, then breathe normally again.
Assess how well the rapid exhales have helped your breathing.
Repeat them if needed.
It’s effect is a combination of the back pressure mentioned above
and the fact that you are emphasizing the exhale. This helps break
up any spasm in the lungs that may be going on. It also helps
regulate the movement of your diaphragm, which is the major muscle
that supports breathing.
By the way, this technique can also help you if you develop a
“stitch”: a cramp in your side (they can be quite painful).
You can use this technique pretty much anytime you need to. You
don’t necessarily have to be running or exercising to use it.
For example, if you are getting breathless from walking up steps,
use this rapid exhale a few times to help normalize your breathing.
You can also try using it anytime you are busy, stressed, or have
been so focused on a task that you haven’t moved (or breathed
deeply) in awhile. Repeating the rapid exhale several times can
help you release tension in your body.
You Can Do It!
P.S. Another great way to release tension and stress from your body
is by taking a few minutes to do the breathing and stretching
exercises in the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise, Volume 1:
Invigorate & Rejuvenate. They’ll leave you feeling relaxed, calm,
and energized. For more information, head on over to the
Best Breathing Exercises website today.
Copyright, Karen Van Ness