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How to Breathe While Running


One of the most important things to learn while running is how to breathe through your diaphragm as opposed to your chest. Breathing through your chest will elevate your shoulders. It's an inefficient way to breathe because it's a smaller amount of action you're getting to your system, as well as using your body's energy to lift the shoulders. Breathing through your diaphragm will reduce the movement so only your belly is moving.  It's also a deeper breath, which will allow you to use the oxygen taken in and translate that into optimal intensity for your workout. So as you learn how to breathe through your diaphragm, only your belly should move.

Now, once you become efficient at breathing and standing, I want you to try to translate that to walking. As you're walking, only have your belly move for breathing. Once you become good at that, go ahead and try to start running.

If you notice while you're running that you begin to fatigue, and you go back to moving the shoulders up and down, go ahead and reduce the intensity of your run and really try to breathe through your belly and maintain that. So with one hand on your belly, take a big, deep breath in. Only your belly should move.

Learn more about CHI Health Run U and Rehabilitation Care.

Matt Franco, PT, DPT, OCS
Matt Franco, PT, DPT, OCS

Matt Franco, PT, DPT, OCS is a physical therapist at CHI Health specializing in running and gait. Learn more about Run U.

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