Running Benefits: Higher Body O2 Only with Nose Breathing
What are the benefits of running? Running or jogging is the most natural way to increase body-oxygen levels and this is the main benefit of any physical exercise. The increased level of oxygen can be easily measured using the body oxygen test. Better results means better physical health and even elimination of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, and bronchitis. Indeed, if the body oxygen level remains the same after weeks or months of running, there would be no improvements in symptoms and required medication.
In order to get the most physical and psychological benefits of running, a person needs to have the crucial main requirement for any physical exercise: more oxygen in the body cells after exercise. This result is easy to achieve with strictly nasal breathing (in and out) during running. Then your breathing after exercise will be lighter providing more O2 for brain and body cells.
Nasal breathing ensures absorption of nasal NO (nitric oxide), and that immediately lowers the heart rate (for the same intensity of exercise). Additional benefits of running with nose breathing include increased CO2 levels in the blood and slower breathing after exercise, which provides more O2 in the body cells. Furthermore, running daily with nose breathing mimics high-altitude training due to mild hypoxia. You do not need to go to the mountains: get more benefits from running due to nose breathing in and out.
Soviet and Russian MDs tested thousands of patients and found that daily exercise with nasal breathing only prevents acute exacerbations due to chronic diseases (no exercise-induced asthma, no heart attacks, no strokes, and so on) and gradually improves oxygen transport due to increased CO2 and NO levels in the lungs and arterial blood. It also helps with weight loss naturally.
Natural lifestyle choices before and after breathing retraining
|Lifestyle factor:||Body oxygen < 30 s||Body oxygen > 50 s|
|Energy level||Medium, low, or very low||High|
|Desire to exercise||Not strong, but possible||Craving and joy of exercise|
|Intensive exercise with nose breathing||Hard or impossible||Easy and effortless|
|Typical mind states||Confusion, anxiety, depression||Focus, concentration, clarity|
|Craving for sugar and junk foods||Present||Absent|
|Addictions to smoking, alcohol, and drugs||Possible||Absent|
|Desire to eat raw foods||Weak and rare||Very common and natural|
|Correct posture||Rare and requires efforts||Natural and automatic|
|Sleep||Often of poor quality; > 7 hours||Excellent quality; < 5 hours naturally|
How to run and benefit from it for beginners
If you want to experience these benefits of running, but have little or no recent experience in running or jogging, you have to start very slowly. Too often, Buteyko students, after they achieve decent daily CP numbers due to breath work (e.g., up to 30 s or even more), experience failure in their running attempts due to injuries.
Why? Their respiratory and cardiovascular systems are able, at over 30 s CP, to experience positive effects of 1-2 hours of running. Furthermore, after doing breath work, these students have very high energy levels and a desire to exercise. However, since they had not run in recent days or weeks, their muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones are not fit yet for such a long and intensive challenge.
Hence, it is crucial to consider the following suggestions, for maximum
running benefits, when you begin jogging:
- Start with walking for up to 30-60 minutes per session for 3-5 days and make a slow transition to power walking or fast walking for another 3-5 days.
- After this initial period, add only 5 min of very light and easy relaxed jogging or running at the end of your power walk (e.g., instead of 30 min power walk, do 25 min of fast walking and then 5 min of very light and relaxed comfortable running with nose breathing only).
- Increase the duration of running by about 2 min per session only so that your ligaments and tendons can readjust themselves to this physical load increase. Hence, the amount of running will increase very gradually: 5 min, 7 min, 9 min, 11 min, and so forth. In about 2-3 weeks you should be able to run for 30 min without any negative effects.
- Always use running shoes with soft soles. (Consider barefoot walking and barefoot running since these are nearly ideal Buteyko exercises.)
- If you later start to have longer running sessions (up to 30 min and more), run on a soft surface (e.g., grass, sand, snow, or gravel), but not on hard surfaces like roads and concrete pathways to avoid injuries.
This approach is similar to Graded Exercise Therapy, which has been used in clinical practice with very limited success due to negative mouth breathing, which cancel the main benefits of running for most people.
Keep in mind that for breathing retraining and higher body oxygen levels, it is smart and useful to do some "uncomfortable" or "ascetic" things (like taking cold showers with certain rules, sleeping on hard beds, sleeping in a sitting position, and running when it is windy, raining or snowing), but running with pain in your knees or feet is not a good idea. Graduality is the key to success in getting the most benefits of running.
Can I run in the morning?
For most psychological and physical benefits, it depends on one's morning CP (the body oxygen test result).
Over 90% of students and nearly all people with health problems have a large drop in their CP throughout sleep. Hence, their morning CP can be up to 30-70% lower than their best evening CP or before-sleep numbers. Then people can benefit from a short session (about 10-15 min. is enough) doing reduced breathing or practicing with a device.
Advanced breathing students have very short sleep naturally (about 4.5 hours or less naturally). As a result, they do not experience a large CP drop and their breathing in the morning is as slow and easy as they had before sleep. These students do not require any breathing exercises, or they can do one or a few breath holds to increase their CP up to 60 s and more, and go running.
In this video below, Dr. Artour Rakhimov explains benefits of exercise for NormalBreathing vs. Buteyko courses.
A device to run and get maximally benefited
For those who are interested in getting the most benefits out of running, here is an excellent fitness device to train with. Many of my other breathing students (who were never involved in competitive sports) tried this device and found it very effective to run and benefit from exercise. The name and a link to analysis of this device are provided right below here as your bonus content.
Sport and fitness articles:
- Simple breathing exercise for higher VO2max
- Increase VO2max by breathing differently at rest
- Exercise is joy if the body is oxygenated at rest
- When exercise is 100% safe for chronic diseases
- Why modern man gets little, if any, benefits from exercise
- Which exercise parameters increase body oxygenation
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