Nasal Breathing to Improve Aerobic Cardio Capacity & VO2 Max

breath training Apr 18, 2019

Your VO2 Max is your bodies ability to transport and use oxygen.

We know we improve cardio with more cardio. We know we improve cardio with higher intensity training. What most don’t know is you can improve cardio with breath training.

The most fundamental skill to improve cardio with breath training is the ability to maintain nasal breathing.

Why is nasal breathing indicative of cardio capacity?

Nasal breathing is a form of reduced breathing. It prevents over breathing. The benefit of slower, controlled, and rhythmic breathing habits is that you maintain a sufficient amount of carbon dioxide in the blood. It is the carbon dioxide in the blood that contributes to the release of oxygen from your red blood cells. This is a key mechanism that occurs in order for the oxygen to be delivered to your body, organs, tissues, and brain.

If you have a low CO2 tolerance you have less oxygen being delivered to your tissues. Remember, VO2 Max is about increasing your bodies ability to transport and use oxygen.

You will know you have low CO2 tolerance when you try to nasal breathe while walking and can’t maintain nasal breathing for more than 5-10 minutes. Elite athletes should be able to maintain nasal breathing even while running so walking should be a piece of cake for you. If it's not a piece of cake, you have some work to do.

If you try this out and feel like you’re not getting enough oxygen, it actually means you have low carbon dioxide tolerance. You aren’t getting enough oxygen to your tissues, that is correct. BUT, you are not getting enough oxygen to your tissues because you do not have enough carbon dioxide available to trigger the release of oxygen from your red blood cells so that you can deliver oxygen to your tissues.

Capiche?

I’m sharing my nasal breathing challenge with you for the next 4 weeks because I believe it is the most fundamental skill for health AND athletic performance.

Join me by following my page & tagging @kruseelitewomen and #nasalbreathingnation with your progress.

Resources:

The Oxygen Advantage by Peter McKeown

About the Author:

Alisha is a Personal Trainer and a Board Certified & Licensed Acupuncturist and is particularly passionate about combining Acupuncture and movement coaching to help young women through their pre and post natal journey, fertility challenges, menstrual irregularities, metabolic issues, thyroid problems, pain, asthma, and allergies.

In 2013, she co-founded KRUSE ELITE with partner, Taylor Kruse. Both are dedicated to inspiring people, coaches, and trainers into their best health and performance.

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GETTING STARTED WITH BRAIN-BASED TRAINING:

Practice FIVE Neuro-Performance Drills

Learn why respiration, vision, vestibular, and complex movement integrations are essential tools for every coach!