Should you breathe through your nose or mouth while exercising? In terms of air delivery, whether you breathe in and out through the nose or mouth doesn't matter, the air will go straight into the lungs either way. However there are differences in air flow, resistance and therefore the energy cost of breathing.
Traditionally the advice for people exercising, particularly when running, is to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. The rhythm of this inhalation-exhalation technique can help you stay relaxed while running at slow speeds. However, as the intensity of exercise increases, it is more important to get as much air (and therefore oxygen) into the lungs as possible, and this can be achieved by breathing in and out through both the nose and mouth at the same time. Greater air flow can then be achieved as there is less resistance this way, and also less energy will be required to breathe.
- See also: how to start a running program
- Start Running — the first steps to a running program for fitness.
- Arterial oxygen saturation and peak VO2 during nasal and oral breathing
- Lung function tests
- The anatomy of the lungs