Your Lungs and Exercise: Exploring the Lost Art of Breathing

TDB Fitness Newsletter 1/31/2021

Breathing is such a basic part of human life, we rarely spend much time thinking about it. However, learning how to control your breath is foundational to effective fitness.

Tip of the Week:

Breathe!

It seems ironic that humans can forget to breathe; if we don’t breathe, we don’t live. However, many people struggle with maintaining their breath during exercise. And, unless you’ve put intentional work into it, you most likely do as well.

It can be overwhelming to think about another thing while you’re putting your body through an intense workout. Controlling your breathing, though, can help you prevent injuries and maximize results.

When we breathe intentionally during different types of exercise, we ensure effective blood flow and optimum muscle engagement. Healthy blood flow and muscle engagement help us build endurance, strength, stamina, and form.

Check out the video above for a demonstration on different breathing techniques!

Food for Thought:

Mental Health Matters

Even if you don’t have a mental illness, mental health matters. If you have ever struggled to get motivated for your workout, you have experienced the importance of mental health in fitness. When we refer to “mental health” we are referring to:

  • emotional, psychological, and social well-being
  • patterns of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  • how we handle stress
  • how we relate to others
  • how we process our emotions
  • how we make choices

Maintaining positive mental health allows you to commit fully to your workouts. Engaging in physical fitness can also improve your mental health. In this way, fitness and mental health work together. When you put intentional work into your mental health alongside your fitness regime, you are setting yourself up to live the healthiest, most well-rounded life possible. Some ideas for maintaining positive overall mental health include:

  • see a therapist. The idea that therapists are solely for mentally ill people is a misconception. Whether or not you are mentally ill, everyone benefits from having an objective person to talk to. We all go through hard things. We all get stressed. We all have problems to solve that we don’t feel comfortable burdening our loved ones with. That’s what therapists are for. You can see a variety of types of therapists. If you’re not getting a good vibe from the first one, go back to Google and keep searching!
  • meditate. Meditating is essentially the process of checking in with yourself. It’s practicing mindfulness. It’s taking time alone with your thoughts and your body. It is locking the rest of the world out for that moment, and listening to nothing but your interior voice. Meditating is also a skill. The first time you do it, it may be frustrating, but don’t let that discourage you! Practice using guided meditations to build the skills you’ll need to eventually engage in solo practice.
  • embrace rest more. We live in a society that promotes workaholism. Our work often rewards us for going non-stop. It is so easy to get overwhelmed by the never-ending to-do list and apply the pressure on yourself to keep going at all costs. These work habits are counter to our mental and physical health. Chronic stress literally shortens your life. Rest is good for us. Finding a better work-life balance that promotes rest improves your mental health and provides you with more energy for your fitness routine (for more tips: see Renea’s mental health blog here.)

If you’ve ever sportsed* competitively, I’m guessing you’ve considered the role mental health plays in fitness without realizing it. Your coach likely said some variation of the phrase “Get your head in the game” to you at some point. Pointers like this express the idea that control over your thoughts and emotions helps you stay focused, motivated, and present in what you’re doing. Essentially we’re talking about mental health. The same logic works for your physical fitness routine today.

*Sportsed: I am passionate about fitness (Renea speaking), but I am not athletic. I participated in a grand total of one season of 8th grade track and field, and competed in exactly one meet. I’m just not interested in sports. I just don’t sports.

Team Announcements

Welcome Renea!

If you did our Saturday workout this week, you experienced Renea’s first fitness class ever! Renea is currently studying to become a certified yoga instructor. We at TDBF are excited to start incorporating more mobility and yoga practices into our programming! Stay tuned for more.

Referral Program

Refer your friends to TDB Fitness and receive a week of training 50% off.

All they have to do is give us your name when signing up for a training package. (Receive one week of training at 50% off for each referral).

Dreams for the future

We at TDBF are pretty sure we’re not the only ones dreaming of summer. The realities of Covid-19 and Michigan winter have us feeling the blues in 2021 so far. But we’re keeping our morale up by dreaming of the future. We’re starting to think about options for TDBF programming once the weather breaks. Live outdoor classes? Mixers for our Team so we can meet each other in person? We’d love to hear your ideas too; remember, we’re all in this together, Team!

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