Welcome to this month's newsletter -- 5 Ways the Buteyko Breathing Method can Improve Your Running and Your Health!
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The Buteyko Breathing Method is a powerful approach for reversing health problems associated with over-breathing and mouth breathing—including those induced by exercise!
If you breathe heavily or mouth breathe while running, the Buteyko method can help you have more energy and feel better during and after running.
Buteyko helps to bring breathing volumes to a healthy level, resulting in many health benefits including greater energy, better sleep, improved sports performance and easier weight loss as a lower breathing volume naturally suppresses appetite.
Many health problems today can be traced back to chronic over-breathing or chronic hyperventilation. These conditions are characterized by mouth breathing, upper chest breathing, frequent sighing, large breaths when speaking and heavy breathing while at rest.
The Buteyko Breathing Method is for you if you are interested in fitness, longevity, or improving the quality of your life, stress levels or sleep.
1. Protect Your Heart Function
Healthy breathing helps to maintain proper carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in your lungs and helps keep your heart rate down. A healthy level of CO2 is required in the blood in order to release oxygen to the muscles and organs.
Heavy breathing or over breathing results in less oxygen being delivered throughout your body due to lack of CO2. Heavy breathing also causes reduced blood flow to the heart. The heart needs sufficient oxygen and blood flow to perform properly. Lack of CO2 constricts your blood vessels and has a detrimental effect on your heart function.
Many runners have become concerned with the increase of heart attacks among athletes. Perhaps this could be reduced if more athletes became aware of the dangers of over-breathing and mouth breathing.
For breath is life, and if you breathe well, you will live long on earth.
-- Sanskrit Proverb
2. Relieves Asthmatic Symptoms
The Buteyko Breathing Method can relieve asthmatic symptoms and those of other breathing problems such as apnea and snoring. If you suffer from exercise-induced asthma, this technique could be of great assistance to you.
Over-breathing alters the natural levels of gases in the blood which lead to numerous health problems, such as asthma, sleep apnea, snoring and lack of sleep. Asthmatics typically breathe through the mouth, breathe heavier and have a higher respiratory rate. This heavy breathing causes a significant loss of carbon dioxide (CO2) of which a certain amount is required in the lungs to relax the muscles surrounding your airways and blood vessels. As your airway constricts, it is natural to breathe heavier and this worsens the condition. As this cycle continues to repeat itself, the symptoms continue to contribute to and worsen the condition.
In 2014, breathing exercises from the Buteyko Method were recognized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and graded an evidence rating of 'A', which is the hightest grade assigned to any form of treatment.
3. Reduce the Risk of Running Injuries
A more relaxed style of breathing, i.e. nasal breathing at a lower rate, stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which keeps us calm and relaxes our entire body. Diaphragmatic breathing is also encouraged and running becomes easier.
With the Buteyko Breathing Method, you will learn how to breathe lighter and you will develop a good tolerance to carbon dioxide (CO2). This will result in more effortless running as your body is not constantly trying to get rid of too much CO2. As your body is not working so hard to breathe while running, you will feel less fatigued. The better you feel while running, the more relaxed you will feel and the less chance you will have of developing an injury.
4. An Increase in Nitric Oxide
When you nose breathe, you take a small amount of nitric oxide into your lungs. This gas plays a significant role in maintaining balance within your body. It helps decrease resistance in the respiratory airway and increase airflow to the lungs. It also helps neutralize germs and bacteria and it helps to relax the smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls which widen the blood vessels.
Some other benefits attributed to nitric oxide are: regulates blood pressure, boosts immune system, kills cancer cells, increases blood supply to cells, aids muscular control, balance and coordination and it protects against disease.
According to a study published in the Japanese Journal of Physiology, which compared nitric oxide production in nose breathing and mouth breathing, the levels of nitric oxide increased with exercise intensity while nose breathing. As exercise intensity increased while mouth breathing, there was no increase in nitric oxide.
5. Simulate Altitude Training Without Travelling to the Mountains
The Buteyko Breathing Method helps you limit the amount of air you need to breathe. This provides similar benefits to those of altitude training. You can improve your body's ability to use a smaller amount of oxygen by lowering your breathing rate and using only your nose to breathe (even while running).
With a reduced amount of oxygen required to breathe, you will experience the benefits that altitude training provides and you won't have to worry about the damage that excessive oxygen can cause to your body.
Sanya Richards-Ross, Olympic Gold Medalist, pictured above trained using the Buteyko Breathing Method. Notice how calm and relaxed she looks even though she is racing!
Caron Clonda, World Junior Squash Champion
Craig Riddington, Ironman Champion
Ramon Andersson, Olympic Kayaker
Con Barrell, Former All Blacks Footballer
Emmily Snook, Olympic Rower
Matthew Dunn, Olympic Swimmer
The Buteyko Method was named after Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, the Russian physician who developed the technique.Patrick McKeown is one of the top teachers of the Buteyko Breathing Method. He was trained by and qualified with Dr. Buteyko in 2002.
Since then he has been conducting workshops and teaching the technique in his home country, Ireland, and abroad. He has also written many books on Buteyko and he now has available a DVD instructional package so everyone can learn how to benefit from this technique.
His latest book, The Oxygen Advantage, was specifically written to improve sports performance by simulating high altitude training. By increasing the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to your working muscles and heart during exercise, you will become healthier, faster, fitter and stronger.
The Oxygen Advantage provides step by step detail to enable you to:
So what about you? Do you over-breathe or mouth breathe? Have you tried nasal breathing while running? How did it feel?
We would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Other related articles you may be interested in:
How You Breathe While Running Could Be Causing Injuries!
As always, keep running, smiling and be happy and peaceful!
With love and peace,
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