Breathe and walk - two actions that are so natural we often forget to consciously do them. Nevertheless, you learn to breathe well the same way you lean to walk well: through practice. Here is how you can control your breathing so that you feel better when speed walking and improve your endurance.
Breathing well is key to walking well
Your body demands more oxygen when speed walking than when at rest. It needs the oxygen to fuel your muscles and allow you to maintain your effort over time.Once you are in your fitness walking stride, concentration sometimes veers towards walking and your movements rather than full and regular breathing. However, it is just as important for walking well.
Knowing how to breathe is necessary to work on your breathing and train without getting out of breath and avoiding stitch. Often, when beginning a new physical activity like fitness walking walkers make the mistake of holding their breath during exercise. This is how breathlessness and stitches occur.
The aim is to learn to breathe deeply and regularly, with the abdomen, to fill your lung capacity to the maximum. You will then have the oxygen reserves you need to maintain your endurance exercise and walk more efficiently.
1 exercise for gaining awareness of your breathing at rest
There is a simple breathing exercise to help you learn to breath properly that you can practise at home in the evening or before your speed walking session. Just lie on your back and place one hand on your abdomen.
Breathing slowly and deeply with your diaphragm, you will feel your abdomen inflate, then your lungs.The diaphragm is located between chest cavity and the abdomen. As you breathe in through the nose, it is the diaphragm that creates room for the lungs to dilate and hold the air you inhale. As you breathe out, through the mouth, the diaphragm allows your lungs to expel the air they contain and your belly slowly deflates.
If you can't feel any movement in the abdomen, this means you are breathing with your chest and your breathing is incomplete. By regularly repeating this exercise you will be able to apply this breathing movement during your fitness walking sessions.
You will feel the benefits of this exercise in your daily life. Calm and regular breathing in this fashion helps to maintain a calm spirit. Don't hesitate to do this exercise in addition to speed walking if you feel stressed!
Emmanuel Lassalle's advice for good breathing while fitness walking
"With time, you will have no problem incorporating the exercise above into your fitness walking. You must try and adopt this good reflex, because this helps to keep you straight. It is vital to maintaining the right posture for fitness walking and avoiding backaches, and for practising an endurance sport such as ours. In addition, you will feel the benefits of good breathing in your everyday life! Let your body set the rhythm for your breathing naturally. There are as many ways of breathing as there are walkers. Personally, I set my breathing according to the movement of my arms. I breath in for 3 arm-swings and breath out for the next 3 and so on"
You can also set your breathing by your stride, in the same way that Emmanuel does with his arms. By staying upright, if your aim is to beat yourself, you can gently contract your as you exhale. This also helps you to stay tall and keeps you from slouching onto your hips.
Managing your breathing during exercise is essential to good walking: it helps to avoid getting out of breath too quickly, prevents stitch and having to stop your fitness walking session. In addition to breathing properly, don't forget to start your session gently and end it walking more slowly so that you recover properly.