Deep breathing is so important when starting any exercise program or regimen. No matter what form of exercise, from yoga to high intensity, it is essential. Stretching isn’t always enough to properly cool down from a workout and sometimes we often forget to synchronize our breathing with any exercise we do.
My cool down consists of a series of stretches, but also a series of deep breaths with each stretch. Instead of timing the length of each stretch and focusing on the time rather than your breath, try 10 deep breaths with each stretch. This is the start of your recovery after the session of exercise, and it will also serve as a form of meditation because you are only listening to your breathing. Worried about exactly how long you hold the stretch during your cool down can negate the effects by doing just that, “worrying” about the time. Instead you should be focusing only on your breathing and heart rate to properly “come down” from your elevated heart rate. This is the most crucial part of any exercise.
More and more studies have come out about runners and their heart rates and it is unbelievable to think some are experiencing fatal heart attacks. Although they are some of the “healthiest” people with the lowest heart rate, I believe the problem could stem from their inability to cool the heart and breathing rate down correctly. To truly take it a step further, try and only breathe in through your nose and our through your mouth. Any step to focus more on your breathing and truly listening to your heart to ensure proper muscular activity is what we want! Burning calories are great for the metabolism but do remember to think about other health concerns, which include the muscles of the heart. This is your most valuable organ and only with a strong heart, can you truly reach the ultimate goal and become the ultimate you!
Follow along with our professional warm-up and cool down videos!