Ever wonder why some days you feel like an energizer bunny and can keep running and running, while other days your legs feel like lead and you have zero stamina? Certainly the amount of sleep you got the night before, stress levels, and diet play a role in how you perform during your runs, but how you regulate your breath during your jogging session also effects your energy levels. Here's how to power your muscles with fresh oxygen on each stride.
- Learn to breathe deeply: Your lungs are just a bit smaller than your ribcage, but we all tend to use just the top third of the lung. One reason being that, like all muscles, the intercostals, which run between the ribs, can get tight and inflexible, limiting the expansiveness of your lungs. When you take a deep breath, you are expanding the lungs, pressing down the diaphragm, and causing your abdomen to expand as your lungs fill with air. Learning to breathe this way helps you take in lots of oxygen while running, preventing dizziness and nausea. With a little training and some stretching you can breathe to your full potential to increase your endurance. Cross-training with noncardio workouts like yoga and Pilates can also help you learn to breathe from your diaphragm. Here are some tips for how to conquer diaphragmatic breathing.