Why You Should Care About How You Breathe

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When’s the last time you did a breath workout? (GIF: Tumblr)

I love a good workout. I like to stay fit and push my body daily, and I believe that struggle equals growth. 

So when I got the chance to meet up with Laird Hamilton, the legendary surfer, athlete, and stuntman, I was really excited about the idea of working out with him. I showed up at his house in Malibu, ready for a crazy pool workout.

Instead, I ended up lying on my back on the pool deck, doing a breathing workout. It also turned out to be one of the most challenging workouts of my life — I thought I was going to pass out within the first minute! 

The whole thing got me thinking about breathing in a whole new way.

I asked Laird about how he has learned to breathe for all of the water sports he participates in (it’s a long list), and found that it’s only been in the last couple of years that he’s really buckled down on learning these powerful breathing techniques.

We talked about how tapping into the power of breath affects athletic performance, relationships, business, mindset, and much more.

What I learned from Laird is that breathing not only oxygenates the body so that it can function, but it provides the mental energy to get through challenges.

When you’re stressed out of your mind, common advice is to take 10 slow deep breaths. Turns out, the advice goes beyond the physical effects and, as Laird puts it, taps into your spiritual well-being.

While Laird follows a pretty intense breathing regimen currently, he says that any level of breath work is advantageous — and it’s perfectly fine to start from whatever you can handle.

If you haven’t tried breathing techniques before, whether in athletic training, yoga, or meditation, consider incorporating even a small 10-minute practice into your workout regimen. Not only will you expand your lung capacity, but you will find clarity of thought come much more quickly than usual. 

For my full conversation with Laird, listen below:

For more on Laird, click here

ABOUT LEWIS HOWES: Lewis is a pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur who hosts the top-ranked podcast The School of Greatness. He interviews the best and brightest minds in health, entrepreneurship, relationships and lifestyle. Follow Lewis on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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