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Breathing Techniques Prevent Injury and Cramps During Running

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Breathing the correct way during running and jogging can lengthen your endurance while relaxing muscles that, if tense, can cause injury or cramping.

The first step for better running is breathing in and out from the mouth instead of your nose. When breathing through your nose, you are more likely to tighten your facial muscles and clench your jaw. The mouth should be relaxed and comfortably open.

Make sure you are using your diaphragm rather than the chest with short and shallow breaths. The stomach should contract during inhale and the upper body should feel looser and more flexible.

Next, the inhale to exhale ratio depends on which type of run you are striving for. If you are going for a jog, 3:2 is most effective. 3:2 translates to inhaling for the first three steps and exhaling for two, repeating this pattern while you jog.

Yet, for a faster pace, run or a sprint, a 2:1 ratio is recommended.

If these techniques are done correctly, less stress is put on the body and you will experience less shortness of breath throughout your workout.

Listen and control your breathing as well. Heaviness should indicate difficulty. If you are breathing rather hard and loud, it may be a sign to slow down a little.

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EmpowHER Guest

I found training in a swimming pool while performing these breathing tips helps out a lot as well. Submerging most of your chest and running will prove a challenge when trying to maintain proper breathing. I wrote an article about it as well: Runners Breathing Technique, let me know what you think!

July 23, 2010 - 11:52am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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