Breathe a Little Easier, Exercise a Little Longer

When it comes to exercise, the last thing we think about is our breathing. After all, it comes natural and we do it without having to pay attention to it.But what if breathing really did affect your workouts? Doctors and trainers advocate breathing training to help increase your lung capacity. Smart breathing can help you with your workouts and is a good way to prevent injuries.

Breathing Techniques To Breathe A Little Easier 

Doing simple breathing exercises will help to keep your lungs in shape. And when your lungs are in shape, you can stay active and healthy. When working out, the important thing to pay attention to is the rhythm of your breathing. If you are running, for example, experts say to synchronize your breath with your foot strike, alternating which foot strikes the ground with each exhalation. This helps to create consistency and balance in your breath, which ultimately keeps your legs moving.

Taking long, deep, slow breaths is another good way to improve the capacity to take in air while exercising. When it comes down to the last half mile of a run or the last squat at the gym, having the lung capacity to keep going will make the difference in your exercise routine.

Rhythmic breathing also helps you avoid injury by correcting an imbalance caused by landing on the same foot every time you exhale. Rhythmic breathing helps to stabilize the core and prevent impact stress injuries. As important as leg health is, it’s even more important to prevent injuries so you can keep them active.

Strengthen Your Lungs, Strengthen Your Leg Health 

Strength training involves more than simply squatting and running and biking. Just as we build muscles to do all of that, it is also important to build muscles for breathing. A helpful article from Runner’s World explains the importance of lung health, saying, “exercise improves the conditioning of the diaphragm…when you take a breath, 80 percent of the work is done by the diaphragm. If you strengthen your diaphragm, you may improve your endurance and be less likely to become fatigued.”

To keep your legs healthy and capable of moving, you have to take into consideration what the rest of your body is doing. The better shape your lungs are in, the easier it will be to breathe, and the more likely you will be able to push yourself just a little bit further at the end of your workout.

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Love is In the Air (and Gym): Fun Exercises to do as a Couple

Before you head out for that fancy dinner and indulge in chocolates this Valentine’s Day, it might be a good idea to get out there with your partner and do something active.

Exercising together is a wonderful opportunity for the both of you to stay active and to spend quality time together, while also ensuring that you’re staying healthy.

There are many things that you can do together, such as going for a run or a bike ride. Or, if you really want to take advantage of doing something together, there are great workouts that you can do together that you actually have to use each other for. You can find some great workout ideas online to try. We’ve summarized a couple of good exericses below (courtesy of Glamour and Boston Magazine):

  • Squats and Lunges. Start by facing each other and hold hands (or forearms). With a strong grip, slowly lower your body, keeping your arms parallel to the floor. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and hold for a few seconds before slowly rising back to starting position. For lunges, face each other and alternate each leg as you step forward toward each other, lunging until your front leg is parallel to the ground. Alternate legs for several minutes.
  • Planks and Push-ups. Facing your partner, start on your stomach with your hands at your shoulders. Lift your body up to plank position and hold there for several seconds. Holding your plank, lift your arm to give your partner a high-five. Alternate giving high-fives with both hands.
  • Medicine Ball Throws. Face your partner and stand with your feet wider than your hips. Holding the medicine ball behind your head, engage your core as you throw the ball over to your partner.
  • Yoga (there are a number of partner poses you can try other than this partner tree pose). Standing next to each other, put your inside arm around your partner. Lift your outside leg into “tree pose,” making sure your foot is above or below your knee. Bring your outside hands into prayer position and hold for several breaths.
  • Lateral Leaps. With a tube or towel stretched out on the ground, face your partner. Leap from side to side, keeping eye contact with your partner and keeping at the same pace. For an extra challenge, try balancing on each leg before you leap to the other side.

Doing a workout together is a great way to maintain your leg and overall health while sharing the experience with your partner. There are many ways to keep your body and relationship healthy and active—and these exercises are only a few of them. Try doing new things and have a fun time with these workout ideas.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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