Oxygen: A New Secret Fitness Weapon?

Friday August 2, 2019

By Michael Grant White

Have you ever noticed anyone at the gym wearing futuristic face masks while they workout? If not, you could very well encounter this scenario soon — and when you do, there is no need for alarm.

These dedicated exercisers are aiming to improve their breathing and enhance their performance through an increasingly popular holistic approach to fitness: oxygen-enhanced exercise. Traditionally popular with Olympic and professional athletes (think Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, and Mario Lemieux), this training trend has hit the mainstream and workout warriors and at-home-exercisers across the U.S. are using it as a natural way to gain an athletic advantage.

Oxygen-enhanced exercise is a scientifically proven phenomenon that experts believe benefits the body by reducing the physical stress of exercise. It accelerates recovery, helps people sleep better, boosts energy levels and improves metabolism, among many other benefits.

Oxygen is crucial for peak athletic performance. Playing sports, weight lifting, circuit training or any other type of intense physical activity burns calories and builds muscle. However, many people don't consider the wear-and-tear it has on their body. Unfortunately, many don't realize that this lack of oxygen ages the body at a much higher rate.

How Does It Work?
Most regular exercisers realize that oxygen and exercise go hand-in-hand, but here is a quick recap of the science behind the growing trend:

During exercise, the body's muscles have to contract and work harder, which increases their demand for oxygen. The amount needed is much more than what is taken in. The body first burns the existing oxygen in the red blood cells, and when this runs out, the body turns to fermentation for its energy needs. Instead of using oxygen, muscles convert glucose into lactic acid, which is when fatigue typically sets in. Oxygen-enhanced exercise leverages the body's already-existing system for oxygenating the blood before this happens.

As opposed to altitude training masks that can often tighten the chest muscles and end up restricting breathing volume, oxygen-enhanced exercise does the opposite.

Mindful Breathing Counts, Too
According to research, proper breathing should always be a primary focus during exercise. It's easy to underestimate just how much it impacts overall health and fitness.

Oxygen helps the body maintain pH balance, it increases neuronal energy metabolism in the brain, detoxifies the blood, and strengthens the immune system by killing harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It also plays a significant role in the recovery process as it helps restore pre-exercise ATP levels and helps the liver break down lactic acid into simple carbohydrates.

Here are several other benefits:

  • Deeper, stronger easier breathing
  • Increased stamina
  • Shortened recovery times
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Better blood sugar balance
  • Enhanced brain function and memory
  • Improved meditation and calming

    Essentially, breathing exercises can help you get more oxygen, strengthen your breathing muscles allowing you to breathe with less effort.

    Michael Grant White is a holistic health expert, author, and international speaker who has dedicated his career to helping people improve their health through better breathing. As The Optimal Breathing Coach and the founder of My Oxygen Machine, Breathing.com, and the Optimal Breathing Academy. White is on a mission to make the world healthier one breath at a time.

    For More Information visit: breathing.com