Breathing is something most of us take for granted, it’s one of our body functions and it just happens. We don’t notice doing it until we can’t, and only then realise how important breathing exercise is.
As an asthma sufferer for many years now, my own breathing is something I am very conscious of. The last few months even more so – especially after contracting Covid-19 in December.
I notice my breathing constantly, it’s extremely tiring. Nothing else matters as much when you can’t catch your breath.
It makes working on fitness even harder or near impossible so it becomes a catch-22 situation.
Even if you have the physical strength, being out of breath makes any physical activity near impossible.
And my doctors just prescribe more and more meds which have short-term relief but I know as a long-term solution there has to be another option.
So I started researching alternative methods.
I met with Steven Sadie, Managing Director at Airofit SA at their offices in Bryanston.
Sadie gave me a full explanation of the device and how it works as a respiratory training system to improve athletes’ performance through tested breathing exercises.
When I explained my own breathing concerns, he explained how the device was first made to aid Asthma patients with their breathing and was only later marketed to athletes.
“So whether you’re running, cycling, swimming or simply want overall better wellbeing, and improved respiratory system will benefit you”, added Sadie
Sadie explained how the trainer works: “It contains resistance wheels which provide adjustable restricted airflow.
“This resistance causes fatigue in your breathing muscles which is then compensated by muscle tissue growth, making your respiratory muscles stronger, faster and more efficient”.
“Airofit pairs with your smartphone, which gives you live feedback, guidance and the ability to track your progress.
“The mobile app consists of various training programs that target different areas of your breathing like Respiratory strength, Vital capacity, and Anaerobic threshold.”
Airofit has a lot of exercises to enhance your breathing. Some of the exercises focus on inhaling (mainly diaphragm) and exhaling (intercostal muscles) strength.
Other exercises improve the operating range of your diaphragm, ensuring you can exhale more air at once, and replacing it with new, oxygen-rich air.
Some exercises focus on the anaerobic threshold and also work as hypoxic training, improving CO2 tolerance in the blood vessels.
Finally, a few exercises also work on breathing control, teaching you to be mindful of your breathing during a race and in daily life.
How Airofit works
I had my first session then and there with Matt Sadie who helped set up the app on my phone and showed me how the device worked.
He guided me through the first session, my lung capacity test, with less than a 3liter capacity, well below a healthy adult average.
He was very reassuring and talked me through the first 2-minute exercise.
It was brutal.
After the second 4-minute exercise, I was wiped out. Surprising since I had not moved my body in any way; I was just doing conscious breathing with the device.
I definitely recommend doing your first session with Matt or your health care professional if you have difficulty breathing.
Results within one week
After one week of using the Airofit daily for only six minutes, it became easier and I wasn’t as tired after each session.
My lung capacity has already seen an improvement from below 3 Litres to just over 3.2 Litres.
The daily required exercises are still challenging but I’m determined to get my lung capacity up to the average.
The added relaxation and revitalisation exercises on the app are, however, my favourite – it doesn’t feel like a hard workout but helps regulate my breathing.
It also assists when I’m feeling anxious. I try to do at least one extra session at night to assist with sleeping, which it definitely does.
The habit of doing structured breathing each day has also given structure to the day, starting each day knowing I have done something to contribute to my overall health.
“Gaining control of your breath is a positive step in improving your wellbeing,” says Sadie and by using the app “you will begin to breathe consciously without even realizing it”
Just like any other muscle group, respiratory muscles can become stronger, faster, and more efficient, which directly correlates to a better O2 uptake, increased vital lung capacity, and decreased metabolic reflex.
Therefore, it improves physical performance and overall wellbeing.
One lucky reader stands a chance to WIN an Airofit PRO smart breathing device valued at R4,995.00! T&Cs apply.
To enter, SMS the word AIROFIT, plus your full name, date of birth and email address and suburb to 33521.
The competition closes Thursday, 30 June 2022 at midnight.
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