Photo: Sourced

Successful hiking is all about breathing

Hiking is one of the most rewarding outdoor hobbies since you may explore new places, test your limitations, and enjoy nature. However, hiking can be a difficult hobby if you’re not prepared. Proper breathing is crucial to hiking. Without adequate breathing, you’ll tire sooner and miss the scenery.

In this blog we will discuss hiking breathing methods to help you keep a rhythm and teach you how to employ some breathing exercises to reduce trail tension and anxiety. As a beginner or experienced hiker, learning these breathing methods can make your next hike more fun and gratifying. Let’s put on our boots and hike while learning how to breathe properly.

Lung Capacity in Hiking

Lung capacity is important for several reasons, especially for hikers, runners, and swimmers. By improving your lung capacity, you can take in more oxygen and fuel your muscles more efficiently. This allows you to exercise longer without shortness of breath, exhaustion, or other respiratory difficulties. Improving your lung capacity can boost your physical endurance and help you live healthier.

If you plan to hike at greater altitudes, you must exercise and breathe properly to improve your lung capacity. Altitude sickness can limit lung capacity and cause pulmonary and cerebral edema. You can enjoy the outdoors more and exercise better by increasing your lung capacity.

In addition, good lung capacity can also reduce stress, anxiety, and increase mental clarity and quality of life. Deep belly breathing helps alleviate muscle tension and stress. Oxygen intake also improves brain function, focus, memory, and cognition. Improving your lung capacity can improve your physical and mental health, making it a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.

Breathing Techniques for Hiking

Simple breathing exercises can help you increase your lung capacity for hiking and activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System, inducing feelings of relaxation and calmness. This can help you maintain a steady pace on the trails and improve your overall physical endurance. Regular practice of breathing exercises can also reduce stress, anxiety, and muscle tension, leading to better mental clarity and physical relaxation. By incorporating the best hiking breathing techniques into your everyday routine, you will be able to breathe more efficiently and enjoy your hiking experience more.

Simple breathing

Sit upright or reclined and close your eyes to start this breathing exercise. Inhale gently for four or five counts, hold for three seconds (gradually increase to five seconds), then exhale slowly and steadily to empty your lungs. Draw your tummy in toward your spine to exhale more fully. Repeat this exercise eight times. This simple yet efficient approach can improve your breathing and lung capacity, making it an excellent hiking preparation tool.

Box breathing

Close your eyes and count to three deep breaths in a comfortable position. Wait three seconds at the top of your breath before softly releasing it. Hold your breath again for three seconds at the bottom of your exhale. Repeat this pattern eight times, progressively increasing hold length to four, five, or six seconds.

Box breathing can improve your hiking experience, help you refocus, stay calm on adventures, reduce hyperventilation, lower blood pressure, and more. You can get more health and mental benefits from this breathing technique as you practice it.

Nostril breathing

Alternate nostril breathing involves inhaling via different nostrils. Find your most comfortable position to begin breathing. Focus on the steps and breathe by closing your eyes. Use one finger to cover your left nostril and inhale six times. If you’ve inhaled enough, clamp both nostrils and hold your breath for three seconds or more.

Breathe alternately. Time to close your right nostril with your finger. Exhale for five seconds through your left nostril. Inhale again via the left nostril, hold for a few seconds, then exhale through the right. Repeat the breathing cycle 10 times, lengthening your inhales, exhales, and holds. Start with six seconds of inhaling, exhaling, and holding your breath until you reach 40 seconds every cycle.

After 10 cycles of this breathing technique, sit with your eyes closed and breathe normally.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Numerous studies have shown that diaphragmatic breathing improves lung capacity. This implies that this breathing approach can improve hiking. It improves diaphragm use, treating shortness of breath and strengthening respiratory muscles.

Start by lying or sitting down and relaxing your shoulders. Put one hand on your tummy and one on your chest. Inhale for two seconds via your nose and watch your stomach move as air enters your abdomen. Before exhaling, push your abdomen and breathe softly through pursed lips. That counts as one cycle you can repeat as often as you want or can handle.  

Pursed lip breathing

Pursed lip breathing is a common lung exercise. Slowing breathing is usually the goal. This hiking breathing method is simple to do alone and can improve your lung function with consistent practice.

First, relax and breathe in through your nose. Purse your lips to imitate blowing air. Exhale slowly and unforced. Exhale twice as much as you inhale. Repeat the steps as often as you like.

Humming bee breathing

As the name says, humming bee breath involves humming while breathing. This hiking breathing method, also improves lung function and mental and physical health. Sit up straight with your eyes closed. Take time to experience your body and inner peace. Then gently place your index fingers on your ears.

Draw in a strong breath. When exhaling, press your ears and hum loudly. You can squeeze your ears down or in and out while humming. Take another deep breath. For best results, repeat the breathing cycle many times.

Rib stretch

One of the top breathing exercises include rib stretch to cleanse the lungs and increase lung capacity. Learning and practicing this method is easy. Stand erect and exhale. Hold your breath for maximal breath for 20 seconds if possible and then inhale. Put your hands on your hips with your thumbs facing forward and pinkies on your back. Then slowly exhale. Relax and repeat a few times.

Hiking and especially high-altitude hiking can make you feel out of breath and make it harder for your lungs to absorb oxygen. You should study and use the above mentioned breathing techniques to overcome such obstacles. Learning how to breathe properly and prepping your lungs for long hikes will help you appreciate the hiking trip more.

@ 2022 Copyright. Designed by