Don’t Breathe Like THIS GUY

Napoleon_Dynamite5If you Google “mouth breather,” you’ll get several hits that show Napoleon Dynamite, or rather, Jon Heder in the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite.

As funny as that movie was, calling someone a mouth breather isn’t funny. It’s more of an insult, as in, “he’s so dumb he never learned how to breathe.”

Wait a minute, do we really need to learn how to breathe? Isn’t it automatic? A few years ago I heard a former competitive cyclist speak about Diaphragmatic breathing.

Diaphragmatic breathing is considered more efficient than chest breathing, especially in endurance sports, plus it has applications in yoga, singing, and stress reduction. If you aren’t familiar with the technique, check out a YouTube video on it, such as this one.

This month, I had to re-certify as a Spinning instructor, a process that involves earning points by taking online courses and passing exams. Procrastinator that I am, I did three of them last weekend. One of them was Breathing Techniques, which I had downloaded last year and never read.

Frankly, I don’t suppose many people get excited about the subject of breathing. Needless to say, it’s one thing to know about something like diaphragmatic breathing, and another to put it into practice.

Yesterday, I took another instructor’s class. When you’re not up front leading the class, it’s easier to focus on something else. In cycling, we talk about the mind/body connection, but I wonder how often the average class participant actually experiences it. I know I did yesterday. For one, when you’re not leading a class, you’re not talking, and it’s easier to keep your mouth closed as you breathe.

There were times as intensity started increasing that I wanted to gasp for air. But I forced myself to get my breathing under control, to keep my mouth shut, and soon I felt more relaxed than I’ve ever felt at high intensity. My breathing was under control, and although I wasn’t wearing a heart rate monitor, I’m sure my heart rate didn’t spike as high as it could have. More efficient, easier, more relaxed. Wow, this stuff works!

Now, I need to put it in practice outdoors on a real hill. And by the way, don’t ride like this guy.

nd bike




Wear a helmet.


This entry was posted in Cycling, Fitness, Indoor Cycling, Mind/body connection, Spinning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s