How to breathe while performing streches ?
Breathe while performing Stretching Exercise
It is advisable to perform stretches before and after a rigorous physical activity or sports to avoid injuries. The parts or organs of the body used in the activity get tensed and needs relaxation to re-energize them-selves using stretches. Stretching is neither correct nor effective unless breathing is in control while the stretch on a particular organ is being performed.
To perform a stretch, inhale comfortably and try to reach the position of maximum stretch but stay where you can reach comfortably without struggling. Now hold the position and focus on slow and rhythmic inhalation and exhalation. Focus on deep inhalation and try to stretch a bit more while exhalation. Try to make your breaths more subtle and rhythmic while in stretching position.
The trick to better stretch is not to fight with your body but with your breath to make it more rhythmic and subtle and slowly you will attain the perfection.
Science behind breathe while stretching
Exercises both heavy and moderate increases blood circulation through the body using skeletal muscles and lets analyze what happens to the intake of oxygen during sudden heavy physical activity like gym and moderate physical activity like Yogic Exercises.
During activity the muscles contracts breaking into lactic acid and releasing energy. This released energy is used to form organic phosphates and one-fifth of the lactic acid released is oxidized to carbon dioxide and water and the energy releases again. The energy so released is used to form glycogen from remaining four-fifth of the lactic acid.
Glycogen —–Muscle Contraction—> Lactic Acid (L) + Energy (E1)
Energy (E1) + inorganic Phosphate+organic compound –> Organic Phosphate
1/5 Lactic Acid (L) + Oxygen —-> CO2+Water+Energy (E2)
4/5 Lactic Acid (L) + Energy (E2) —> Glycogen
One feel tired when he/she does not inhale enough oxygen and the lactic acid is not oxidized completely. When there is too much lactic acid accumulation then muscles stops contracting temporarily.
During heavy physical exercise our breathe gets shorter and we are unable to breathe in sufficient air and so an oxygen debt is created. If we did not breathe deeper while performing stretches then there is no difference between stretching and heavy exercise and one continues to get tired.
During moderate physical exercise like stretching or Yoga our breathe does not gets shorter and we continue to breathe sufficient oxygen needed for muscular contraction and the formation of lactic acid is minimized. After heavy physical exercise if we perform stretches or yoga then the lactic acid accumulated also gets oxidized and we feel energized after stretching followed by relaxation.
The above article is taken from the book “Breathe 100% for 100% Life” by MD Singh available for download from Amazon: