Sports Performance & Breathing

Sports performance has become highly regarded from early in the twentieth century. This has increased exponentially in recent years. For many people it becomes the equivalent of their full time job and career. The primary goal of every athlete is to achieve their absolute maximum potential. An important determinant of whether this will be possible is our breathing pattern.

Poor breathing patterns will:

  • Limit oxygen exchange
  • Reduce stamina and performance
  • Increase the production of lactic acid and subsequently leave the athlete with residual muscle soreness
  • Increase dehydration
  • Increase the occurrence of cramp
  • Greatly lengthen recovery time
  • Elevate the heart rate
  • Increase anxiety
  • Decrease concentration
  • Increase the likelihood of injury in training and competition
  • Decrease energy levels
  • Contribute to poor sleep patterns

Sports Breathing Exercises

The aim of the Buteyko Institute Method program is to normalise the breathing pattern through the use of effective functional breathing exercises. When the body is working within its physiologically normal parameters it can work at increased levels of performance. Stamina and endurance are maximised and all of the above are reversed. People find that once they have corrected their breathing pattern with Buteyko, they can achieve better performance with less breath. This means people have more in reserve and hence leads to increased and optimal performance.

A fundamental requirement for high quality sports performance is good oxygenation of the muscles, heart and brain. Correct breathing determines how well your tissues are being oxygenated.

Buteyko Breathing is about achieving maximal efficiency in the mechanics of breathing and in oxygen consumption and utilisation. Not many people, including elite sports people breathe optimally, either at rest or during performance.

Buteyko Breathing can give a competitive edge. It improves the quality of training, enhances sports performance, allows rapid recovery and has benefits for general health and sleep quality.

The benefits of Buteyko Breathing include:

  • Increased endurance
  • Decrease in lactic acid production
  • Increased muscle oxygenation
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Maintaining fitness during injury recovery
  • Prevention of exercise-induced asthma
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Improved concentration

People who breathe efficiently run longer and faster, perform on less litres of air per minute and have less breakdowns. Changes in breathing-related symptoms such as breathlessness, nasal blockage, excess mucus, lactic acid build-up, muscle fatigue, chest tightness, exercise-induced asthma and performance anxiety are usually observed within the first few days.

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