Breathing is often something we take for granted, this is mainly because it is a predominantly subconscious movement that we perform approx. 20,000 times a day. In the same breath (no pun intended), we also fail to fully utilise our physical activity potential due to laboured and inefficient breathing.
For a quick fix, take a deep breath in and note whether your stomach goes in or out. If it goes out as you breathe then good, if it goes in then this indicates that you are not fully utilising your diaphragm (band of muscle that is key to breathing) and therefore not fully utilising your lung capacity.
Breathing from the chest and not the stomach tends to lead to shallow breathing, the type of breathing people do when anxious or stressed. This isn’t efficient and will begin to hinder your training capacity, you may find you can’t breathe this way the whole time during exercise, but it certainly pays to do it around exercise to ensure you strengthen the correct muscles ready for exercise.
If you can, intersperse deep stomach breaths with regular breaths during exercise to shift out some of that excess carbon dioxide. Try this technique now and when you’re next exercising, and see the difference it makes.