We love The Police at CFHV, and the lyrics of their hit song Every Breath You Take mean more to us than you may think.

If we discount our laser-like focus on our mantra Technique, Consistency, Intensity, our next most important focus is on breathing.

Regardless of being new to training or having been at it for years, one of the most important things is to be aware of and to make the most of is BREATHING!

Control this basic function of life and workouts will be infinitely more manageable. Lose focus on breathing and you’ll soon find yourself in a veritable world of pain!

In order to make the most of our breathing, we first need to know where we’re going wrong.

1. Holding your breath: People hold their breath during movements without even realizing it. When do they come to realize they need to breathe? Normally around the time they soon realize they are suffocating, but by that time it’s too late. Muscles have been depleted of that oh-so-important oxygen, and fatigue quickly sets in.

2. Shallow breathing: The manner in which we breath is just as important as actually remembering to do so. We’ve all seen it, whether its at rugby training or at the playground with the kids. We get caught up in the effort involved and next thing you know, you’re a little short of breath. Let this continue and we’ll soon be doing our best donkey impression, hands on knees, braying, desperately trying to get some air into our system.

So, how can we get better at controlling our breathing?

1. Stop what you’re doing! Find a quiet, relaxing spot and click here to check out this cool tutorial. SealFit Founder and former Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine will teach us how breathing and meditation can improve quality of life AND performance.

Nothing is more important than breathing, so you MUST train it!

Box Breathing is a simple and effective way to build breathing skill.

Basically, you’ll be doing lots of high-quality breathing repetitions at an escalating rate. It’s no different than working out, only here good form means drawing a nice and deep breath through the nose and into the belly.

As you get better at keeping control over your breath, your ability to maintain focus and presence in any situation also improves.

You will feel better. You will make better decisions. You will perform BETTER in every area of your life.

2. Start with the belly breath. This is the basic technique of breathing… Put your hand on your belly. Push it out by drawing in a deep breath through your nostrils. Exhale fully, pushing the hand in towards your spine. Get all the air out. Repeat three times. Do it all again, only this time, focus on physically expanding the belly, then the lower chest, then the upper chest as you breathe in deeply.

This is a great way to train all of your breathing muscles properly.

Just remember to keep breathing through the nose.

Give this a go for the next week, two weeks, month and see how it improves your quality of life and your ability to work out.

Stay healthy,

Coach Paul.

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