How to Breathe During Running

Updated on February 4, 2020

Learning how to breathe while you’re running is essential if you want to get the most of your workout and take care of your body while doing it. Many people breathe heavily while they’re running, and many mouth-breathe while doing any form of exercise, which is completely wrong. The benefits of nose breathing while running are endless, and the best way to learn how to breathe properly is by taking the Buteyko breathing steps. 

If you are one of those people who breathe heavily while running, the Buteyko breathing method can help your body feel better before, during, and after running or exercising. It will also help you gain more energy and protect your heart. 

How Buteyko Exercises Help Breathing While Running 

Learning how to breathe less is the rock ground base of the Buteyko method. After handling the exercises and learning the method, you will be using your nose instead of your mouth while running, and you’ll be able to breathe less frequently with shallow breaths. 

When we breathe through our mouth, we often over-breathe and breathe out too much CO2 (carbon dioxide.) Being the essential ingredient to providing optimal levels of oxygen flow to the muscles, lack of CO2 can cause many problems. 

Through the Buteyko method, you will maintain the optimal ratio of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your bloodstream while running. 

While it requires commitment and consistency, the method has helped thousands of people discover the benefits of proper breathing. Ideally, you would need to attend a class and work with a qualified coach so you can learn about every detail, including any known Buteyko side effects. 

Four important Ways the Buteyko Method Improves Health For Runners

Buteyko improves your health in many ways, but let’s list the most important ones for runners: 

Keeps Your Heart Safe

When you breathe in a healthy way, your lungs have the optimal levels of CO2, which keeps your heart rate down. The blood needs optimal levels of CO2 so it can send oxygen to your organs and muscles. 

Heavy breathing plays a significant role in reducing blood flow to your heart, and the heart can’t perform properly without optimal blood flow. Lack of carbon dioxide can lead to constricted blood vessels and can hurt your heart and affect its functions.

Buteyko helps relieve all the negative effects of over-breathing to your heart. 

Lowers Risk of Injuries

When you breathe through your nose and at a lower rate, your whole body relaxes because you’re stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. It further encourages diaphragmic breathing and makes running much easier. 

After you’ve learned and adapted the Buteyko breathing method, you will breathe lighter and also develop a healthy tolerance to CO2. Your body won’t be trying to get rid of extra CO2, and you will run with less effort. You will also stop feeling fatigued after running because your body won’t be working hard to breathe during the run. The more relaxed your body is during the run, the better you will feel and there will be less risk of injury. 

Increases Nitric Oxide Intake

When you breathe through your nose, you breathe in a certain amount of nitric oxide, a gas that plays a vital role in keeping balance in your body. It decreases respiratory airway resistance and increases airflow into the lungs. Nitric oxide is also important for neutralizing bacteria and germs, and it helps smoothen and relax the muscle cells of the blood vessel walls. 

There are many other known benefits of nitric oxide. It boosts the immune system and regulates blood pressure, but it also kills cancer cells and helps muscular control. This valuable gas also helps protect against disease and increases healthy blood supply to all the cells in your body. 

Relieves Asthmatic Symptoms and Helps Relieve Anxiety 

The Buteyko breathing method can help relieve many symptoms of various breathing conditions such as asthma, sleep apnea, or snoring. Many people have exercise-induced asthma which gives them severe problems when they go out for a run. The Buteyko method has been of tremendous assistance for many asthmatic runners. 

Buteyko breathing for anxiety has helped many people reduce or eliminate anxiety attacks. When anxiety hits, people start breathing more heavily and reach a much higher respiratory rate. Heavy breathing of this sort can cause you to lose a large amount of CO2, and without it, your lungs can’t relax, and the airway is constricted. The cycle keeps repeating as we live through an anxiety attack. Buteyko exercise can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety significantly.

Benefits of Buteyko Breathing Steps 

When you practice the Buteyko method, you will maintain optimal levels of CO2 for longer periods while you’re running. As a result, your body will produce less lactic acid and mucus, and your blood vessels and airways will remain expanded for longer. You won’t get tired as quickly, and you won’t put your heart into so much stress, and breathing will become much easier. Running will become more enjoyable and you will be able to experience the benefits of healthy exercise fully. 

With practice and in time, you will be able to control your breathing and make it shallower whenever you are becoming tired, stressed, or anxious. Carbon dioxide is known as a natural tranquilizer, so it will not only help your running performance, but it will also help you relieve stress and anxiety. Healthy breathing helps keep your whole body in optimal balance. 

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