Get Great at Kickboxing & Karate – learn how to BREATHE!

Want to get into great shape while learning self-defense?  Try 2 free weeks at the Boca Raton Karate & Kickboxing Academy.  561-926-1846

The breath is the mechanism that brings oxygen to muscles and all of your organs.   Everyone has to breathe… right?  Yes, we all breathe without ever really thinking about it… but when we choose to exercise and push our bodies physically through activities such as karate and kickboxing, we need to expand our breath beyond the common shallow breathing that often takes place day in and out.  Oxygen is limited when we shallow breathe and during exercise, we need increased oxygen to fuel our body.  There are however, techniques we can practice to help increase the oxygen flow to our heart and our muscles through our breath which will greatly improve our cardiovascular training.

Proper breathing is all about the efficiency of bringing in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide gas in your lungs.  The better your body is at this exchange, the more potential there is for increased health.

When we go to the gym, we repeatedly hear the word “Cardio, Cardio and more Cardio”.  Cardiovascular exercise is very popular.  It incorporates many types of exercise – from indoor cycling to running to Zumba, step aerobics,  martial arts and many, many more.  As you push your body and your heart rate increases, your rate and depth of breathing must also increase to supply oxygen.  Cardio training is always an important part of any exercise plan.

Just like any sport or hobby, the more you practice, the better you get.  The same goes with breathing techniques.  Once you learn what works best for you, then you practice and incorporate them consciously into your workouts. There are many techniques to choose from… here are a few to consider:

–          Alternate nostril breathing:  Pinch your nose closed with your thumb and forefinger.  Release one side and inhale deeply.  Hold for a few seconds.  Close the side of inhale and release the other nostril for a deep, slow exhale.  Repeat 3 times and then switch inhale/exhale sides.

–          Diaphragm breathing:  When you breathe, inhale and consciously expand your abdominals to help take in as much breath as possible.  When exhaling, release your abdominals slowly.  Repeat several times.

–          Nose breathing:  take 3 quick breaths in through your nose without exhaling while at the same time raising your arms out to your sides, moving them higher with each breath to open your chest. After the third breath, exhale and lower your arms.

–          Humming:  Begin with a deep breath and hold for a few seconds.  As you release, hum and push as much air out of your lungs as comfortable.

Find what works best for you and think about your breath as you exercise.  Keep consistent and you should see an improvement.  To keep healthy, make sure you keep moving and definitely keep breathing!

Want to get into great shape while learning self-defense?  Try 2 free weeks at the Boca Raton Karate & Kickboxing Academy.  561-926-1846