Do you find yourself gasping for breath when doing even moderate activity? The answer to gaining stamina fast and making all exercise feel easier could be down to how you’re breathing.
Train hard, breathe easy
I teach several kung fu classes per week. At the beginning of each is a warm-up and series of conditioning exercises which I lead. The students then follow me and listen to my instructions. Therefore it’s essential that I am not only able to perform these exercises – which can be hard and fast – but that I also have enough breath left over to be able to give verbal instructions without gasping for air. And bear in mind that most of my students are half my age or younger.
I discovered long ago that nose breathing can greatly increase my stamina and at the same time reduce how hard an exercise actually feels.
Nose breathing is a vital health and exercise skill that everyone should learn. The health benefits are many and profound but I’ll discuss them in a different post.
It enables me to lead and teach exercise sessions effectively even when a class of students, many of whom are half my age and quite fit, are gasping for breath.
Breathe through your nose all day every day
Nasal stamina exercise
To increase your own stamina and reduce your perceived exertion (how hard the exercise feels), follow the simple steps below:
- Reduce your exercise intensity to a level where you can comfortably breathe through your nose alone. This may seem far slower than you are used to but, trust me, soon you will be up to the same intensity level and pushing well past it with far greater ease.
- If you feel yourself going faster or harder and need to open your mouth to breathe, then you are going too hard and must slow down to ensure nose breathing is maintained. Maintain your exercise intensity at a level where you can keep your mouth closed.
- Take a smooth slow inbreath then breathe out slowly for as long as possible. Slow breathing is more effective than fast hard breathing and helps maintain a steady supply of oxygen to your heart and muscles.
Breathe through your nose only during exercise to increase stamina
You may be astonished at how quickly you can increase the intensity of any exercise without needing to open your mouth to bring in extra air.
Not only can you train harder but the exercise will also feel so much easier to do.