Everyone including me has faced this at long and high altitudes, this is one of the most common things that happen during hiking or marching uphill. And there is no embarrassment for anyone as it’s common. But most of you want to improve this common thing and I totally understand. If you know how to breathe when walking uphill, not only you save your time but also get less tired afterward.
how to breathe when walking uphill?
There are many ways to breathe, but when walking uphill you should breathe with your mouth instead of your nose. But depending on the situation sometimes it becomes vice versa. If you want step by step guide, keep reading the article.
Breath with mouth if
When you walk uphill your muscles get tired easily and require fuel i.e oxygen in this case. Because more muscle energy is wasted while walking uphill, you need extra oxygen to provide fuel to muscles.
When walking uphill, breathe with your mouth instead of your nose because breathing through your mouth will allow more oxygen to enter, and also it is a lot easier than breathing through the nose.
Breath with nose if
As per the environment and whether you have to change your breathing style. Avoid breathing with your mouth in hot weather to avoid mouth soaked.
If you no problem with mouth soaking then you can breathe with your mouth because breathing through your mouth is the best option. You can also breathe through your mouth and nose at the same time to inhale oxygen.
Use your core
Use your stomach to breathe because this way you allow the diaphragm to pull air into the lungs. The oxygen you inhale through the stomach will pass through the lungs which will be distributed as fuel by the heart to every muscle in your body. Take a deep breath in a way that your stomach pops out and goes back as you exhale.
You can also practice this breathing technique by putting one hand on your stomach, and one on your chest. Take a deep breath in a way that your hand on your stomach rises higher than the other hand on your chest. Practice this for few times until you get it right. This technique will surely help you in walking uphill without getting out of your breath.
keep your posture straight
Getting the posture right when you walk uphill is an effective way to control your breath. Keeping the posture right will make your lungs inhale oxygen faster than when your posture is not good.
To get the right posture when walking uphill, keep your back straight without any bend. Keep the flex and little bend in your legs. To make this more effective walk by throwing your body weight in a forward direction.
Take low strides
taking low strides will help you to breathe freely while walking uphill. Strides are the length between your two feet when you walk.
Why do I get out of breath when walking uphill?
You don’t train
The major reason you get out of breath when walking uphill is lack of training. Without practicing hike and doing the training you will definitely get out of breath unless you are lucky to have athletic genes. The best exercise is walking and hiking, yes practice walking uphill because that’s the perfect way to engage your muscles used during walking uphill.
oxygen level fluctuates
While walking uphill at high altitudes you will experience difficulty in breathing, it is because the air is more thinner there and the amount of air pressure outside is less than inside. So, if you get out of breathing while walking at high altitudes take deep breathes at a slow pace.
low lung capacity
Lung capacity is the amount of air your lungs can store. It may vary from person to person but people with low lung capacity face breathing problems on high altitudes or if they walk regularly. But don’t worry you can change this by doing some breathing exercises which we will discuss below in this article.
an uneven and rough surface
If you are walking on a rough surface, then you will get out of breath fast than if you were on a flat surface. The reason behind this is the friction and energy required to step up and step down through the way. The uneven surface also uses more energy because the muscle involvement here is more which means you need more oxygen.
change of environment
Know what muscles are most important to train when hiking- what muscles does hiking work
How can I improve my breathing when walking uphill?
Increase lung capacity
Do persued lip breathing
This exercise will decrease the rate of your breathing while keeping the extra oxygen in your tank for muscles to use. This is the best breathing exercise for hikers as it is effective, easy, and you can do it anywhere.
- Sit on the floor by folding your legs and inhale the oxygen slowly through your nostrils
- make a pout or purse your lips to breathe out as slowly as possible.
- Do this 8 to 10 times.
The second exercise is similar to the first one, there is only a slight change
- sit on the floor while closing your eyes, and inhale the oxygen through your nostrils. Make sure to inhale it totally so that the process takes up to 7 to 8 seconds.
- now exhale till the count of three seconds and then stop. then again exhale for 3 seconds and hold. then empty your lungs by releasing all air.
Do bridge pose
Bridge bose is the best way to improve your breathing while walking uphill. Bridge pose is a restorative, energizing, and rejuvenating yoga pose that opens up your chest and improves lung health.
- Lie on the floor with your back, and arms on your side.
- bring the feet close to your hips(don’t attach maintain the comfortable distance) by bending the knee. Make sure your feet or legs are wide apart from your shoulder width from each other.
- Now, lift your hips and upper body up by pushing with your feet and inhale deeply while going up.
- Then release the air slowly as you come down.
Get your muscles used to the environment and positions by practicing the hike. Not only it will build the muscle mind connection but also increases lung capacity. Practicing hiking is more beneficial than hitting the gym because you may build strength and stamina through workout but you can not make your muscle used to the ups and downs or foot placement that can only be done with practicing hiking.