Highlanders Super Rugby Team Train with POWERbreathe


In December 2012 the Highlanders signed a Global Sponsorship Agreement with POWERbreathe. Since then they’ve been using their POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training devices religiously as part of their training.

The Highlanders are a professional New Zealand rugby union team based in Dunedin that competes in Super Rugby, the largest professional rugby union competition in the Southern Hemishere.

POWERbreathe got together with the Highlanders to help the team specifically target their breathing muscles, using POWERbreathe breathing training devices to exercise the breathing muscles to improve their strength and endurance. This respiratory training would prove extremely beneficial to each team member because in rugby extreme demands are placed on the breathing muscles. All rugby players require a high level of aerobic fitness, lactate tolerance, strength and power; all reasons why POWERbreathe should be an integral part of rugby fitness training.

The Highlanders coaching staff realised the benefits of Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) and have developed a special training programme for the team.  Duncan, from POWERbreathe, visited the Highlanders in March this year (2013) to see how they’d incorporated POWERbreathe training into their routine, and to offer training advice and guidance if needed.

Duncan was welcomed by the coaching staff and team members, all of whom seemed comfortable with their POWERbreathe training, which can be seen in Duncan’s photos on the official POWERbreatheUK Facbeook page, and video.

The ‘fly-on-the-wall’ video shows how all the team use their POWERbreathe in between gym training and during match practice. Michael Lawrence who oversees the compliance said he was “very pleased with the enthusiasm and dedication the players have put into this aspect of their training. They have all stuck with it as they can feel the benefits when running on the field.”

Duncan is back in the UK now but the Highlanders POWERbreathe training continues, and we hope to bring you more news as and when we receive it. We’d like to thank the coaches for their work in developing a POWERbreathe training program for the team, and for implementing it so quickly and thoroughly. Duncan would also like to thank the Highlanders team players and all coaching staff for their hospitality – he’s looking forward to keeping in touch and assisting with training developments.

Highlanders Super Rugby Team (New Zealand) Sign-Up POWERbreathe


POWERbreathe has signed a Global Sponsorship Agreement with the ‘Highlanders Super Rugby Team’ from New Zealand.

This cooperation will see the Highlanders implementing POWERbreathe inspiratory muscle training into their performance and fitness training programmes to improve endurance and accelerate recovery.

Although the physical demands of rugby are specific to each position on the pitch, all players require a high level of aerobic fitness, lactate tolerance, strength and power. The exertion that rugby demands of players places extreme demands on their breathing because the activity is anaerobic and generates high levels of lactic acid. And because rugby involves a high intensity upper body activity, it can induce conflicting demands on the breathing muscles which not only bring about breathing, but are also essential in activities that involve the upper body.

POWERbreathe specifically targets the breathing muscles, strengthening them by around 30-50%, significantly improving performance, reducing breathing fatigue and accelerating recovery.

POWERbreathe International Ltd has provided the Highlanders 1st team squad and coaches with a POWERbreathe Plus each, as well as, a POWERbreathe K5 including Breathe-Link software to allow regular performance testing, monitoring and assessment of each player. Professor McConnell’s evidence-based book ‘Breathe Strong, Perform Better’ will help players and coaches to better understand the science of POWERbreathe.

POWERbreathe looks forward to working closely with the Highlanders and providing POWERbreathe training protocols, technical support, coaching and training recommendations, as well as, POWERbreathe and ActiBreathe training workshops.

POWERbreathe is committed to helping the Highlanders become champions of Super Rugby 2013.

 

Olympic Torchbearer Nick visited POWERbreathe Towers today

Anne Brar, Director, and Duncan Kerr presenting POWERbreathe to Nick and AlexPOWERbreathe Classic user Nick Howden-Steenstra, 18, and his good friend Alex Hutchinson, 19, visited POWERbreathe Towers this morning to fill us in about the challenge they’ve chosen to undertake: celebrating the coming of the Olympics from Greece to London and raising money via their Just Giving page for Macmillan Cancer Support and Amnesty International.

The 4000km-plus Torch Triathlon 2012 (3250km cycling, 813km running and 122km swimming) is unprecedented, with such triathlon distances not being covered self-supported before.

The official Olympic torch is to be lit at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, on the 18th May and flown to England. Nick and Alex intend to bring another representative Olympic torch to England from the very same temple via the 4000km Torch Triathlon, one month earlier.

Nick and Alex popped into POWERbreathe Towers to receive a POWERbreathe Plus Heavy Resistance each, to help them strengthen their breathing muscles for the event, and warm-up their breathing muscles every day before each challenge.

Nick and Alex will be setting off for their Torch Triathlon from Greece on February 22nd, arriving in London on April 7th, in time for Nick to take part in the 2012 London Olympics Torch Relay on 1st July.

You can follow Nick and Alex on Facebook and we’ll keep you updated on their progress here too.

Everyone at POWERbreathe Towers would like to wish Nick and Alex all the best for a successful event.

If you have any comments that you’d like to leave for Nick or Alex, please feel free to do so.

POWERbreathe Testimonials from our customers

testimonialsMany people are using POWERbreathe for a number of different reasons – sports training, fitness, even medical conditions. We wanted to publish POWERbreathe testimonials, POWERbreathe reviews and feedback from people who have used the POWERbreathe so the readers of our blog and fans of our social media sites can actually read first hand experience and not just take the word of POWERbreathe.

If you would like a POWERbreathe review published please contact us here at POWERbreathe at this email address contact@powerbreathe.com. Please leave a comment if you find this post useful.

Update from Vincent Carotenuto, USA – January 2016

“I just wanted to give you an update on my progress with the Powerbreathe. After using it since early August 2 times a day for 30 breaths (up until recently I was only able to do 30 breaths once a day), I now can run over 3 miles in 30 minutes even though I have asthma.  I do not use my inhaler and I know using the Powerbreathe is one of the major reasons that it is much easier to run without my inhaler.”

Feedback from Senior Physiotherapist, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, treating a cancer patient – 2015

“The doctors were really pleased with his repeat lung function tests, some of the values had improved considerably, they felt we’ve given him the best chance possible to making it through his transplant, and feel the Powerbreathe device has been a contributing factor to this despite us only having a small window of time to work with it. He was using it daily from the day you dropped it off to the day he was transferred to Birmingham, and I’m confident he was going to continue with it after he left us. We had also managed to increase it up to number 4 from 1 in the few weeks he was using it. If he comes back to us post transplant (which I have a feeling he may) I will keep you updated on his progress and possibly we may be able to arrange a review? Although this will depend very much on if he returns to us or goes straight home.

Many thanks for everything you did to help us in his management.”

Tweet from Mark Faghy, tutor in exercise physiology at Loughborough University – November 2015

“Great progress made by @WillHayhurst24 after only 2 weeks of using a @POWERbreatheUK device @jo78wi @bexknight @Official_NCFC #incredible”

Testimonial from Ross Turner (www.theturnertwins.co.uk) – September 2015

‘the POWERbreathe allowed us to train in a way that was in-expensive, appropriate and the best in the market for mountaineering adventure (without actually training at altitude). It was easy enough to take travelling and use every day while allowing any level of cardiac fitness you wanted. This POWERbreathe was perfect for Mt Elbrus as the mountain had glacial rubble and ice – two very different terrains that affected the cardiac system in different ways. With more adventures coming that are not at altitude, we will carry on using the POWERbreathe as it is a great way to train the body in a very advantageous way so you can perform comfortably while working hard on expeditions.’

Testimonial from Vinny Carotenuto – July 2015

“Hello, I just purchased your POWERbreathe Plus 2 medium resistance lung exerciser and I could tell after my first use that it is unlike any other lung exerciser I tried in the past (and I’ve tired 4 of them).  It seems like it is built to last and is very accurate in its measurements.  I can’t wait to see how it helps with my asthma and to see if it can help me pass the police physical fitness test in the future!  Thank you.”

Facebook comment from David Bannister, Run Director at Banbury Park Run UK –  May 2015

“Simple but amazingly effective bit of kit if u use it regularly. Can do it anytime!”

Facebook comment from Elizabeth Anne McTernan, World ranked Paracyclist & World Paratriathlon Bronze Medalist 2012 – May 2015

“Without a doubt, the POWERbreathe K5 has helped massively with my training and racing, so many thanks for a great product!”

Facebook comment from Justin Ross – February 2015

“I have also found in my own training that doing a (POWERbreathe) training set afterwards, as prescribed by your scientists, works really well to quickly bring the heart rate down and I feel it works to increase my recovery.”

Facebook comment from Philip Knowles – December 2014

“My K3 had transformed my life. Use it every day to help with copd. I saw results within days of using.”

Testimonial from Rose Gyimah – September 2014

“I purchased your Power breathe contraption about five years ago. As a professional singer it has done wonders to increase my breath control and support and improved my overall singing.

I want to invest in members of my chorale group with the same product that has seen a significant improvement in my singing.

I intend to purchase 10 of the Power breathe.”

Tweeted by Shona Darley (@shona_darley) – August 2014

“I’ve been using Powerbreathe since May and it’s made a huge difference to my asthma & running. Keep recommending to others :)”

Tweeted by Fringey Harney (@BoringHarney) – July 2014

“One of the best things I’ve ever bought is my PowerBREATHE. I’d definitely recommend them to people with CF. @CFAware.”

Testimonial from P Parsons – June 2014

“This device is great for people with lung disorders like emphysema it assists with the enlargement of the lungs when the sacks are blistered or burst it can assist with the exercise program that has been set out as a task for repair of the damaged lung.”

Testimonial from Donald Cornelius – April 2014

“I’ve been using my POWERbreathe for over 17 years. Bought it from Birmingham University before it went on the open market. I’m 79 years-old and it’s got me through several marathons, heart surgery and other ageing complaints. Recent lung capacity tests show I’m above average. I’m sure it’s because of my years of use of the POWERbreathe.”

Testimonial from Breathe Naturally – March 2014

“Just wanted to let you know, on a personal note, how effective POWERbreathe has been on strengthening my core. Have been using it in conjunction with some basic core exercises to help reduce a diastasis rectus as well as long term back pain. Well, moved some furniture around the other day, followed up with a day of snowboarding at the ski hill – a recipe for back pain for sure. Pleased to report there was none! Have been using POWERbreathe with a lot of my patients (am a physio) and find it most helpful to get them to engage their core properly…especially since the diaphragm is one of the “core four.” :)”

Testimonial from Matt Levy – March 2014

“Thanks POWERbreathe I’m an elite swimmer and have been to 3 Paralympic Games. It has definitely help me stay ahead of the competition .!!!”

Testimonial from Rhys Williams, Team GB, Welsh 400m hurdler – February 2014

“I have been using the powerbreathe religiously and so far have found some good results, enough for me to continue using, as by now it is an integrated part of my training. I really find it has helped. Thank you once again for allowing me to use the great product and for your help.”

Testimonial from David Gordon – January 2014

“I add my voice to those who sing the praise of Powerbreathe. As a 62 year old who has been unable to blow above 300 on a peakflow meter (I am an asthmatic) for years – I can now regularly exceed 400! Powerbreathe is great – it really works!!”

Testimonial from Robin McNelis – December 2013

I noticed runners changing to shoulder/neck breathing when on slippy ground during cross country, I presume using their diaphragm to help with balance. I tried doing Powerbreathe on my wobble board and was amazed how using the Powerbreathe switched on my stabilising muscles around my hips. Another great workout, we live and learn.

Testimonial from Peter Ward – November 2013

It’s working for me. No doubt. My best 10k time was 49.50 on a flat course in the Bupa London 10,000 last year. Yesterday I ran 10K including a big hill in just under 48. Looking forward to doing the BUPA again in May and seeing how much has improved my speed.

Testimonial from Mike Owen – November 2013

I have played jazz saxophone for over 30 years and started using Powerbreathe Plus 3 months ago at the suggestion of a colleague who runs. I noticed after a few weeks that I was playing longer jazz phrases without breathing so often, thus freeing my mind up to more improvisational ideas.

Testimonial from Robin McNelis – November 2013

I’ve been marathon running for 14 years and the greatest change I’ve seen was when I started to use my old Powerbreathe consistently earlier this year.

Testimonial from Phil Knowles – September 2013

Hi guys, after being diagnosed with COPD, too much smoking whacky backy in my twenties I suspect (I’m now 43) the powerbreathe k3 I purchased has made a huge difference. I cycle and hike and this has not only made it possible for me to breathe deeper and more effectively it’s made my chest feel much more comfortable at rest. At my worst before using the k3 I could not even fully finish a sentence or yawn properly. It also makes you more conscious of how you breathe, almost retraining me to take deep effective breaths when exerting or exercising.
I often recommend this device to people, think its great for anyone with breathlessness or breathing problems or athletes alike. It’s a shame that my doctor didn’t recommend this device instead of me having to search it out on the Internet.
When I first started I was getting results when training of load around 60, now peaks at 105. Power was under 10 now often at 22. Volume stayed the same at around 4 litres and training index is always at the mid 90s.
Thanks guys at powerbreathe for such a great device I hope that one day the medical profession will recognise it for it’s usefulness with medical problems, I’d fully endorse it.

Testimonial from Jude Irvine – September 2013

When I informed my consultants/doctors that I had purchased one (POWERbreathe Medic) they were pleased and spoke of the benefits of using it. However, they did not offer to prescribe. There needs to be a bigger campaign to bring Powerbreathe equipment and training to the health industry. My awareness of it was only because of my involvement in the fitness industry. The benefits of training the lungs in this way is immeasurable! I have found excellent results and recommend it to anyone who has breathing difficulties or those who wish to increase their lung capacity for sport or fitness. Let’s get Powerbreathe equipment/training recognised and widely available in treatment plans for people who struggle to breathe!!

Testimonial from Josephine Gull – August 2013

Hi to all at POWERbreathe towers!  I managed to get my old POWERbreathe working again and have been using it morning (on the bike to work) and evening ( before going to sleep) and even in conjunction with core stability on the med ball. I have fully regained my speed and endurance and made both better and stronger. The 100m is over before I really even get started and the 200m doesn’t take nearly as much effort as it used to. It’s good to be back.  Monday I start my law internship, but I’m not gonna lose what I’ve just regained all over again and POWERbreathing will certainly help prevent that from happening again. Thanks once again for all the support and encouragement.

Testimonial from Stuart Starkey – August 2013

Well done POWERbreathe you got me to the top of Africa Kilimanjaro expedition ticked off.

Testimonial from Charlie Stevens – August 2013

I love my power breathe, it’s an awesome tool it’s helped me a lot with my cardio training, I started using it when I was cycling and continue to use it in my cardio programmes, like insanity and tapout xt.

Testimonial from Stuart Starkey – July 2013

Very impressed with my power breath. I am using this in my preparation for climbing Kilimanjaro.

Testimonial from Keith Withers – July 2013

I have used this (POWERbreathe) before to help improve my sprint distance in the pool and now open water. As an asthmatic as well, I noticed an improvement after using one as part of our dry land training.

Testimonial from Lydia Adelin – June 2013

Met a nice runner called Duncan who sold me a powerbreathe at Bosworth Tri last Sunday. Just wanted to let him know I have been using it for a week as and when and today in a race I didn’t use my asthma pump because I forgot it anyway – but I did notice I was breathing differently – and a lot more comfortably! If this progress continues I am one very happy customer 🙂

Lydia Adelin

Testimonial from Phil Welch – January 2013

POWERbreathe has done wonders for my asthma and I have no symptoms and have not used an inhaler for years. I also feel it has given me an extra edge in mountain bike 24 hour endurance events and in Italy I managed to finish 2nd in the World Championship. I can’t recommend this product enough.

Phil Welch

See Phil’s video testimonial on the POWERbreatheUK YouTube Channel

Testimonial from Susan Andrews – August 2012

When I began using my POWERbreathe, of course, I watched the DVD that came with it, as well as a webinar I received from Dr. McConnell. Both were very interesting and very good; however, I found myself craving an even clearer understanding of how the lungs typically work and why, how IMT using POWERbreathe modifies how they work and why, and the range of possibilities using your device.

I am a complete novice with respect to IMT, and only discovered it after having to undergo physical therapy after lung surgery merely four months ago. Having been extremely athletic prior to the need for that surgery, I have been absolutely desperate to restore my breathing back to 100% normal, but it has been no simple or easy task due to complications from the surgery itself and the loss of the upper left lobe.

Nevertheless, I am intent on achieving my goal and am using your device daily but conservatively in terms of the resistance, due to having a resected bronchus. I am passionate about your science and technology and eager to understand and harness it as fully as possible.

Yes, when you never had to think about how and why your lungs work, it can be very abstract and unclear when you suddenly find yourself wanting to become expert enough to accomplish your goals concerning them!

Susan Andrews

Testimonial from Melanie Ryding – December 2011

I took part in the powerbreathe trial because I wanted to know something specific: could powerbreathe cure me of my asthma? They claimed they could.

I developed asthma as an adult, and in more recent years it is only a problem during exercise at high intensity: a rather large problem if you are a short course GB age group triathlete who spends most of the race at high intensity!

I trialled the PowerBreathe for 12 weeks. During this time, I noticed an improvement in my performance on the unit, as well as an improvement in my asthma, noticing I could train at higher intensities for longer with less problems. Don’t be under any illusions, this is a tough little cookie, and you do work hard when using the Powerbreathe!

After consistent use of Powerbreathe for around 2 months, I noticed that I did not need the inhaler, and most of the time I was carrying it ‘just in case’ !!

Towards the end of the trial, I was due a flu jab at the doctors, it was ‘that time of year’. I was turned down, because ‘I no longer appeared to suffer from asthma’! Dont get me wrong, I was quite cross, but, at the same time, what a result!?!

Now, i have an inhaler that I collected from the doctor ages ago, that is still in its box, never been opened. I havent needed an inhaler for about 3 or 4 months now.

I USED to have asthma, but now, thanks to PowerBreathe, it seems that I don’t anymore!

Would I recommend it to asthma sufferers? Of course!! I seriously did not expect this result at all, and I am WELL PLEASED!!

Regards,
Mel
MelanieRyding

Testimonial from Colin White – August 2011

I have been using POWERbreathe for many years now (my wife bought me one as a present).

I was born with Chronic Bronchal Asthma and have suffered many asthma attacks throughout my life. Being asthmatic I have always been on medication and it has had an affect on how much sport I can do. I have always been active and during my teens trained as a Performing Artist I have also had a love for Martial Arts/Self Defence.

I have always been aware of how much I can physically push myself but there has always been a “limit” or something holding me back, my asthma. When my wife bought me a POWERbreathe unit (the classic I do believe) I thought what the hell….I have tried everything else so why not give this contraption a go!!!

Well that was somewhere arround 2003/4 and I have used it daily since, taking just 30 breaths in the morning and 30 in the evening. I noticed that I was using my inhailers less, my attacks were less frequent, my fitness levels increased and I was able to push my limits further than before.

I have just started a trial using the new PBK3 unit and have increased my resistance and amount of breaths to 90 per day (30 morning, 30 afternoon and 30 in the evening). This has alowed me to train daily on my fitness, support my wife in her training (I can now run with her without stopping every 5 mins to catch my breath) and now teach Martial Arts.

My asthma nurse also said that she had noticed an improvement in my breathing, my peakflow reading has gone up and at the age of 32 I’m in better shape than when I was a teen.

Try POWERbreathe for yourself and notice the difference in just 30 breaths per day. I would strongly recommend to anyone who suffers from respiratory conditions

Colin White

Inspiratory muscle training should be part of your sports training

Inspiratory Muscle TrainingRelatively simple inspiratory muscle training exercises can allow you to breathe effectively and with ease as well as help to improve your respiratory muscles.  Respiratory muscle training is not restricted to people who suffer from lung disorders, respiratory conditions, quite the opposite. Fit and healthy individuals can also benefit from IMT training as these breathing exercises can assist in increasing lung performance.

Whenever we undertake any form of exercise or physical activity more emphasis is placed on our breathing. This can lead to muscle fatigue particularly if you are a sports athlete and participate in marathon events, triathlons or any other form of high stamina sporting activity. In breathing muscle fatigue occurs in the inspiratory muscles which are used to inhale. When taking part in sports activity these muscles have to work harder which means your breathing is uncomfortable you suffer shortness of breath. This further results in muscle fatigue in the leg muscles as your body is struggling to send oxygen to the legs making the legs weak which results in your balance being impaired.

By having some discipline in your breathing and doing regular inspiratory muscle training you can improve your breathing. You will feel more comfortable breathing during running as your breathing muscles will have less stress placed upon them.

If you regularly run or participate in any form of sports training then it is important that you perform breathing exercises. Neglecting to correctly warm up can lead to breathlessness. POWERbreathe products for Inspiratory Muscle Training can be used to specifically warm-up these muscles prior to exercise, using a reduced load setting.

 

 

Andrea Cunningham week 21 – The end of the road is in sight

Hi everyone I’m back at last with my 21st Journal and getting to the end of my 6month journals now with PowerBreathe….my god how time flies!  Well this week I’ve had my running shoes well and truly strapped to my feet!  Monday I went to body attack and then did a 7 mile run as well it seemed to go pretty well i.e. I didn’t want to keel over afterwards!  Then Tuesday I decided to give balance and combat a miss and did 13miles instead…it has to be said I did start to feel pretty light headed after this but I’m guessing it was because I had to run past numerous hotels and the smell of food was an absolute killer I was starving!  Wednesday then it was back to body attack and then 7 miles again….my legs were like blocks of lead that particular session of body attack was hardcore or maybe I just went at it harder than normal but every mile of that run I was out of breath and my legs felt horrible I was one happy girl to get home that night!!  Thursday then (still panicking about my lack of mileage) decided to run 10 miles this was better than Wednesday though I really really did not want to do it I was so tired and I literally must have said to myself just gotta get through tonight and then Friday is a day off lol…this marathon training may also be making me loose my marbles!

Friday then I took it easy and I’ve never been so glad to be inside my house – it’s starting to feel like I never see it!!  Saturday unfortunately I had to get up at the crack of dawn as there was a 10k race going on where I live so I need to get out and back before it started as part of it was directly in my route to and from home….anyway the sun was just rising so the first couple of miles were a tad torturous but then the sun came out and I was roasting toasting!  I managed 15miles this day – I really wanted to do 18 but I couldn’t figure out a route to get back to my house that bypassed the other runners but anyway I was absolutely knackered and starving as I hadn’t got up early enough for breakfast beforehand…that’ll teach me!  Has to be said though even though I was dead physically from the week my breathing during my runs was defiantly better!

Sunday then I was a very very lazy girl and watched a whole lot of rugby…very early in the morning unfortunately!  This week coming I’m going to tackle a 20miler at the weekend and this weekend will also be the last weekend I eat and drink anything “bad” well I’m certainly going to try anyway its going to be goodbye wine and chocolate and hello water and pasta…yawn!  It has to be said this part of the training I do not enjoy at all!  All this torture is because I’m running the Dublin marathon for Marie Curie Cancer Care so any spare pennies would be greatly appreciated www.justgiving.com/andreacunningham

Breathing exercises for sports training

If you are a sports and fitness enthusiast then your performance can be improved with some simple yet effective breathing exercises. These breathing exercises can help concentration during any physical activity.

Competitive sports at every level come with an element of stress for the competitor. The most common type of stress for competitors is hyperventilation before the start of the event. However, by employing some breathing exercises all of this stress can be avoided enabling the competitor to remain calm and focused.

Staying calm to build endurance

Doing some simple breathing exercises prior to any competition will help you immensely. These exercises will put more oxygen rich blood into the body and the muscles. However this needs to be regulated, as too much oxygen in the system will lead to hyperventilation. As an athlete competing at a competitive level it is important to use breathing techniques as part of training. This helps build endurance. By doing some deep breathing exercises you will increase metabolic efficiency, which will allow the body to burn more calories during fast paced exercise such as aerobic fitness, running and cycling. Adopting these breathing techniques help the body regulate and control breathing and also helps prevent nausea and dizziness. These techniques are recommended particularly for runners because they experience heart rate spike, over breathing and low endurance at the start of each race. Why does this happen? It happens because adrenaline is taking over and telling the body to be prepared for a stressful condition.  Although adrenaline can be helpful at times it needs to be controlled, and this can be accomplished by adopting some breathing exercises.

Types of breathing exercises

When taking part in any type of aerobic fitness training, a person should lower the intensity, or slow the pace to a point where they are able to breathe and be in control. In other words the intensity level should be high enough to require accelerated, heavy breathing and an increased heart rate but not so high that it goes out of control. Breathing in through the nose for a count of three then out through the mouth for a count of two is one of the most effective breathing exercises. If the athlete is a runner then improve running performance by matching these counts with their natural strides. However, if you are involved in any other type of sports training then it is imperative that you monitor and measure your breathing to a tee.

Andrea Cunningham Week 20 – I’m back

Hi everyone I’m back at last with my 20th journal it’s been a while!!!  So I was off on holiday there in sunny Spain for 3 weeks and then last week was just mental with work so I didn’t get the opportunity to catch up with you all.  You’ll be please to know I packed my trainers and PowerBreathe for their holidays too though I wasn’t quite as productive as I had of hoped!!  When I landed it was 41 in the shade and suffering from asthma it did take me a couple of days to adjust to the humidity and I also to decrease the resistance on my PowerBreathe as I couldn’t do it at the level I’d reached.

After a couple of days (and now behind already with my training) I decided I had to face the run…though dreaded it.  I decided the only way I was going to be able to do was if it was first thing in the morning and getting up at 630am on your holidays isn’t fun!  I found a route that was 8miles in total so the first time I went it was “interesting” my chest and throat ended up hurting a lot probably because I was trying to breathe too hard even at that time it was roasting and the longer I was out the hotter it was getting and the less oxygen there appeared to be so I walked more than normal.  Nevertheless I persevered and did the same run 3 days in a row just to see if I would improve any…lol I didn’t!! I then took the next couple of days off and I have to admit I was pretty defeated at how hard I found it…and now starting to panic about being behind with the marathon training.  Few days later I decided to give it another go and did it for the following 3 days in a row…the first day was better than the rest as when I went on the second day my chest and throat hurt from the previous day so that day and the following weren’t so good unfortunately.  It has to be said though even though I did feel like I was going to pass out on a few occasions doing the 8milers during the day my breathing (even with sore chest muscles) was better.  Now way behind with my training I was still very deflated so I planned different routes with what I hoped was better air quality as I had been running through desert kind of land through salt lakes I decided to head for the sea and away from snake land so I took a couple of days off and then aimed for a 14 miler.  This was tough as the sun was fully out in all its glory and hot about 6 miles in and there is only so much water one can carry – it has to be said I hated every moment it felt like I was constantly struggling for air and was extremely happy to get back home.  The next day I did 13 miles but I completed different route and I included the pier which is a mile long so I ran up and down it about 5 times and then from home to it and back home again.  Halleluiah there was air here at least but about hour in it was so warm and so bright it was hard going….I passed a chemist on the way home and it told me it was 31degrees at that time of the morning!  I only managed one more run when I was there just 8miles and again it wasn’t the best.  I was supposed to complete two 18milers when I was there but I honestly just couldn’t have done it in the heat and lack of air!!

So that leads to last week then back in rainy Northern Ireland just home I decided I better get back on track asap.  So hit body attack and did an 8miler as well.  I think I had quickened up to my surprise as the runs on holiday were pretty shocking!  Then the next day I did 14 miles which was a huge amount quicker than I’d ever ran before…granted I did want to pass out at the end but still I was quite chuffed with myself I’m no speedy gonazles by any stretch of the imagination but for me it was good so perhaps all that torture on holidays had paid off!!  This week now as I know I am behind with training its full steam ahead starting to panic now but heh there’s no getting out of it so I’ve got get the trainers on and get back to it!! In case there are any kind souls out there I’m running the Dublin marathon for Marie Curie Cancer Care and any spare pennies would be greatly appreciated www.justgiving.com/andreacunningham

Breathing exercises for your sports training

Breathing is a process which is critical to humans to stay alive as it is a process that helps us function properly. A process that does not require thinking it is just automatic and part of everyday life.  Breathing allows us to bring oxygen into our bodies then use the oxygen as energy. Although a simple process, there are many ways breathing can be inefficient for our bodies.

By adopting some simple breathing exercises we can improve the quality of our breathing and make it work more efficiently for us. Breathing is critical and without breath we will not survive. However, adopting some breathing exercise can help us maintain and regulate our breathing.

Breathing exercises have a dual purpose. By breathing properly it allows the body to get more oxygen with less effort, making every physical and mental activity more efficient throughout the day. Breathing exercises also help the body, mind and soul relax when under stress or when clarity is needed. Stress can be literally blown away with the breath and your breath is the safest of all places to focus your consciousness.

Breathing exercises can be done just about anywhere at any time. However, it is always best to choose a quiet place where you can sit or stand comfortably with your spine straight. Make sure you keep your eyes and chin on level with the horizon. It is important that you are in relaxed and loose clothing.

Learning Breathing

Learning breathing is important and the steps below explain some techniques for breathing exercises.

  1. When you are breathing it is imperative that you pay attention to your breath. Don’t try and alter the breathing pattern, just observe it.  If you do find yourself becoming distracted, gently focus back to what you are doing.  Every day, try and increase the length of time that you can do this and you will be on your way to great progress.
  2. Sit on a chair with your head bent down toward your knees. Inhale through your nose the deepest breath you can, making sure your belly presses into your legs and your body rises up. Your rib cage should get very wide. Exhale through your nose. Repeat this twenty times. Once complete sit up slowly, as you may be slightly dizzy from the breathing.
  3. Squeeze more air out on exhalation by using the muscles in between your ribs (the intercostal muscles). Exhale, and then squeeze more air out. Do this whenever you think about it. This will eventually lengthen the exhalation so that it matches inhalation and will encourage the body to draw in more and more air.
  4. Focused exhalation will encourage your body to bring more breath in. Breathing is like a cycle. You exhale to begin breathing which is the top of the circle. Inhaling finishes the breath and is the bottom half of the circle.  Make sure to squeeze your rib muscles and push all the air out of your lungs. Then breathe in to “reset” and begin the breath cycle again.

Stimulating Breath

Stimulating breathing exercises should be done in the morning to wake you up. If you feel tired as the day progresses, take a few minutes and stimulate your breath to increase your physical and mental energy. A great way of doing this is by practising some Yoga techniques. Put your tongue in the yogic position, on the ridge of hard tissue behind palate of your teeth. Yoga says that the energy systems of the body, positive and negative, connect at those two positions – the tongue and roof ridge. The technique is to breathe rapidly in and out through the nose with the mouth lightly closed. This should be as fast as possible and both your inhale and exhale should be noisy. Progress starting at 15 seconds and increasing by 5 seconds per day until you reach 1 minute.

Quickly Calming Breath

This is the breathing exercise that you should adopt if you are upset and want to calm yourself down quickly.  Observe the way you are breathing but don’t try and change it.  Focus on how you can make your breath deeper, quieter and slower, more importantly regulate your breathing pattern.  Focus on inhaling and exhaling and keep going until you notice a change in your breathing pattern and you feel at ease with yourself.

Breathing exercises are extremely important in everyday life as it helps calm you down and reduce stress and tension. In our everyday life we face many situations that put us under pressure. Anyone who participates in stamina related sports will know how important breathing exercises are for sports training. An athlete will suffer shortness of breath during training but by following these breathing exercises they will be able to control their breathing.

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