Do you know your posture affects your breathing and vice versa? Also, what you do throughout the day can negatively affect your breathing? Both breathing and posture affect the quality of your exercise. Put it all together – good posture, breathing, and exercise form a triple boost for optimum health!
Why is this important to you? Poor posture leads to labored breathing which creates tension in the muscles on the side and back of your neck. When breathing becomes labored, your shoulders elevate during the inhale because your primary breathing muscles, like your diaphragm, are not able to effectively provide your body with oxygen. This causes you to compensate your breathing muscles with neck muscles, which in turn locks up your joints and makes it harder for you to move and ultimately fatigues your body faster. When your body is fatigued you start to hunch over. Being hunched over after you workout and all day at work, you start to walk differently, stand differently, sit differently; I could go on, but I think you get the point. There’s a series of negative effects that take place on the body.
So, when you exercise think about your posture and breathing. Working out too often or too intensely will make your posture and breathing harder to control and disturb how you function inside and outside the gym. A classic example of overused exercises are sit-ups and crunches; too many of these shorten the ab muscles into a perpetual position of exhalation, increasing the amount of effort needed to breathe normally. Add prolonged sitting at work, commuting, and watching TV into the mix and you get even more tension in your spine and neck, gradually reducing the quality of your breathing.
Basically, efficient breathing requires good posture; good posture comes from good exercise programs and moving your body daily. Proper breathing can benefit your workouts to enhance posture and optimize results and performance.
Think about it, what if all you needed to do to lose body fat, relieve stress, and feel more energized is focus on your breathing? It can be that simple!
Sebastian, MSS, CSCS