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Breathing Exercises or Techniques That Increase Your Cardio Health

author image Suzy Kerr
Suzy Kerr graduated from Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia. She completed her Master's degree in Nutrition Sciences, also at the University of Georgia. Suzy has been a successful health, fitness and nutrition writer for more than 10 years, and has been published in various print and online publications.
Breathing Exercises or Techniques That Increase Your Cardio Health
Yoga can improve your breathing and strengthen your entire body. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A strong and conditioned cardiovascular system is necessary to remove carbon dioxide waste and to send oxygenated blood to all areas of the body, according to the University of New Mexico. Breathing is automatic and does not require conscious though, but there are some breathing exercises that can be purposely done to help in improving overall cardiovascular health.

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Proper Breathing During Exercise

Breathing properly during cardiovascular exercise allows you to perform better, and perhaps have more energy when you are finished. Stew Smith, a former Navy Seal and certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, recommends a 3:2 ratio while running, meaning you inhale for 3 steps and exhale for 2 steps. This pattern may be hard to incorporate without practice. Slow down your pace until you can easily perform the pattern. When doing strength training, proper breathing technique is to simply exhale on exertion. For example, on a bench press, exhale as you lift up, inhale as you bring it back down.

Slow Breathing To Increase Cardio Health

In a study published in the "International Journal of Preventive Medicine," Yoga breathing exercises -- or Pranayama -- were shown to increase the physical health of patients, including those diagnosed with cancer, by reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Breathing exercises can also aid in improving lung function. Yoga is a practice that can be used to increase cardiovascular health through breathing because it teaches those who practice how to concentrate during various activities. Meditation is also helpful because it teaches people how to focus on their breathing and to control their breathing rate.

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