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     Fitness Tips For 3/19/2008
Proper Breathing During Exercise
By Andrew Baye
Reprinted with permission of Exercise Protocol Magazine.

During exercise, it is extremely important not to hold or force 
your breath. Holding or forcing your breath, known as Val Salva's 
maneuver, increases pressure in the thorax and abdomen which causes 
blood pressure (BP) to rise dangerously high, very quickly. This 
can cause dizziness, fainting, painful exercise induced headaches 
(EIH), and in those susceptible to it, even stroke.

To stress the importance of proper breathing during exercise to 
new clients, Trainer Ken Hutchins often points out that elderly 
people are commonly found dead of a stroke on the commode as a 
result of the increase in BP which occurs as they Val Salva while 
straining against a bowel movement. Not a very graceful way to go. 
You do not want this to happen to you during an exercise.

To prevent Val Salva, it is necessary to breathe continuously 
during exercise, in a relaxed and natural manner. It is preferable 
to breathe through the mouth, with the mouth wide open. Do not
purse your lips as you exhale, as this increases the amount of 
force required to expel the air from the lungs, increasing 
intra-abdominal and thoracic pressure, and thus BP.

There is often a strong association between performing intense 
muscular contractions, and holding or forcing the breath. This 
association can be difficult to break in some people, but it is
essential to do so. If during an exercise you feel the urge to 
hold or force your breath, or notice yourself doing so, try to 
breathe more. It is preferable to experience some slight dizziness 
from over-breathing than to faint and possibly drop a weight on 
yourself, suffer a painful exercise induced headache, or die of a 
stroke as a result of holding your breath.

It is also important to have nothing in your mouth during exercise. 
If you are eating something or chewing gum and it becomes lodged 
in your throat, you may choke and die.

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Neither trulyhuge.com nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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