Exercise should be a priority. With so many distractions and obstacles keeping us from the gym, it can be difficult to exercise. It can be difficult to focus on the exercise when we are not able to do it. We often focus on the workout and forget about our mental health. How can we get rid of all the distractions and make the most of our workouts? Breathwork in your workout matters.
If we don’t have a mindful approach to our workouts, we run the risk of injury or poor results. Mindfulness is paying attention to your breathing and, to a certain extent, even controlling it. You can also improve your mental health by doing breathing exercises. These three simple techniques will help you improve your breathwork during, after, and before exercise.
1. Before: Establish a Clear Intention
Coming into your workout with intention is a great way to avoid injury. It will maximize the results. Given the time and space available, set an intention for your exercise. Examples of intentions might be to breathe during stressful times or to enjoy your rest by being fully present at the moment. Set the intention clearly if you have only 30 minutes. Throughout your workout, you should be able to recall this intention.
Before you start to do breathwork, take a moment to really connect with your body. Pay attention to your inhale, and notice where your breath flows easily within your body. You might have tight muscles there. You can improve your mental health by paying more attention to your body.
2. During: Use your Breathwork as an Aid
When you exercise, pay attention to your breathwork. Your body’s work will be reflected in your exhale and inhale rhythms. If you are holding or bracing your breath, it could be a sign you are overexerting. Correctly using your breath will help reduce stress, guide you in your workouts and improve your mental health. You can use you go-I-go method if you are working out with a partner or trainer.
You can slow down your heart rate by doing partner exercises. You can synchronize your movements with your breaths using your partner or in your group’s exercises. This will enhance and strengthen your emotional connection.
3. After: Relax with Rhythmic Breathing
You can speed up your recovery by including breathing exercises in your stretching program. Cause your attention to the areas you have stressed during your workout. Breathe into that stretch and open that tissue.
You want to relax and return to regular nasal breathing as quickly as possible. Your body will relax when you focus on breathing through your nostrils and seal your lips.
It can be difficult to hold your breath after a workout. Start with rectangular breathing and you will find it easier to transition into box breathing. The exhale is the most important because this is where oxygen absorption occurs.
Mindfulness isn’t a Destination
The more sustainable the change, the smaller it is. You shouldn’t promise yourself that you will be mindful during your workout. You’re bound to be distracted. Keep your focus on your breath and keep going.
Perfection is not more important than the consistency. You don’t need to change your whole routine to improve your mental health. Instead, incorporate mindfulness and breathing exercises into your daily routine. Start by setting an intention. Even if it’s only a once-off, it’s better than nothing. You can slowly build on this progress.
You can now use mindful breathing as a tool to increase your physical and mental fitness. Just breathe. You can find out more by contacting us at Apex Performance. We are the pinnacle of fitness and aspire to train you in every aspect needed!