Whether you love or hate cardio, it is no secret that breathing is a big barrier to improving in any cardio exercise from running, cycling, swimming and hitting the gym. If you try to start running today, you might get slowed down by the ability to breathe and that is super normal, your body needs to learn to breathe during intense exercise to be able to get oxygen flowing to your muscles as they work hard.

But it isn't just running that can be hard, from LISS to HIIT workouts, cardio is a challenge. The good news is, other than getting stronger in your body, you can help your lungs get stronger too by practicing certain techniques for cardio that help you breathe easier.

Check out these 10 ways to improve your breathing during cardio, not just to improve but to really enjoy your workout and feel more confident. 


10 Remember To Breathe

First things first, don't hold your breath. It might sound silly, but it definitely happens to the best of athletes sometimes you are focusing on getting the moves just right to keeping a firm posture, and your focus is not on the breath.

Turn your focus to your breathing during a cardio workout such as running, cycling or swimming to practice making it more innate and coordinating your body movements with your breath.

9 Warm Up Your Breathing

Just like you need to grab a pre-workout snack and stretch it out before hitting the treadmill, you should also warm up your breathing. As you warm up, whether that be a few yoga stretches or doing some squats and push-ups, pay close attention to the breath to get your breathing where it needs to be before increasing the intensity during your workout.

Help yourself perform better by easing into the breathing, just like you ease your muscles into the workout.

Related: 10 Foods For Your Pre-Workout Snack

8 Post-Workout Breathing Exercises

Similar to how it is important to warm up for any workout, you need to cool down as well t help your muscles recover - and your breath.  During your workout certainly, your breath has gotten pretty quick, so slow it down with intention and not all at once. It shouldn't feel like fast breathing and immediately switching to a yoga pace, but ease into a resting-heart rate in the few minutes following your workout, as you also cool down your body.

The point is to bring mindfulness to your breath in all aspects of your workout in order to be aware and do it correctly.

Related: Cooldown: Why It Is Important After Working Out

7 Breathe Through Your Nose

There is some controversy about the best way to breathe during a workout, such as in through the nose and out through your mouth - that is a handy trick for when your intensity is up, but do try to regulate your breath as much as possible by breathing through your nose.

It is easier to control through your nose, and not let things get out of control too quickly. Also, don't put too much pressure on yourself, do what feels good for your body - that is always the best principle.

6 Aim For Deep Belly Breathing

Deep belly breathing is using your diaphragm to breathe, it means breathing in and out, not up and down, this is a technique that singers use to control their breathing during a song.

You can do deep belly breathing exercises, and try to keep your shoulders in one place as breathing should be taking place from your stomach, in the out and in direction.

5 Practice Breathing Outside Of The Workout

To help yourself breathe better during cardio, practice breath work outside of your workout. It is like how you practice any skill before arriving at a critical moment or applying it to your day-to-day life.

Practice breath worth outside and during your workout.

4 Focus On Good Posture

Did you know that your posture affects your ability to breathe well? If you are exercising and not paying attention to your posture, it could be a big reason behind why you struggle to breathe during cardio.

It might feel like a lot to remember, but practice makes perfect, and the basis for a healthy body is posture and breathing,

3 Try HIIT Workouts

Instead of going straight for a run, try HIIT workouts to see if you like them. What is nice about this form of cardio is you try 30-45 seconds at a high intensity, then you take a 15-second break which allows you to recover your breath and learn to control it during the flow from intensity to rest.

2 Do Intervals

Intervals are another way to practice breathing while going from a lower to a higher intensity. This can help you build endurance, which generally makes breathing during cardio less tasking, and more relaxing.

1 It Is Okay To Slow Things Down

Remember in your journey with being able to breathe easy during cardio, it is okay to slow things down. When it comes to cardio, you might find some days easier than others, remember that progress is not linear.

Be good to yourself, enjoy your workout and listen to your body above everything else.

Next: What Is Better, Cardio Or Weight Training?

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