Many people think that the process of breathing happens automatically and so, we cannot do much about it to enhance our health. On the contrary, if we learn to breathe in the right manner, we can certainly add more ‘life’ to our life.
We all know that our bodies need oxygen to survive, but we often overlook its importance in exercise capabilities and muscle performance. High level athletes in ALL sports are turning to portable oxygen options for infusing their bodies with this much-needed molecule before, during and after exercise. Once you understand how valuable oxygen is to your muscle performance, you may want to do the same.
Cellular respiration is the process in which your muscles use oxygen to produce ATP energy. It’s a relatively straightforward process. Normally, your body obtains oxygen from the air you breathe. It enters the blood stream and is carried to your muscles, where some of it is used immediately, and the rest is stored by a compound called myoglobin. Whether you’re exercising or not, the oxygen in your body is used to break down glucose and create the fuel for your muscles called ATP.
During exercise, your muscles have to work harder, which increases their demand for oxygen. This is why your breathing and heart rates increase, to pull more oxygen into the bloodstream. As you exercise, the oxygen that reaches your muscles never leaves, but rather sets to work immediately converting the available glucose into ATP.
So, what happens when your body runs out of oxygen, or your other systems simply can’t deliver it to your muscles quickly enough? Your muscles begin converting glucose into lactic acid instead of energy, anaerobic exercise takes over, power output drops and fatigue sets in. Unfortunately, anaerobic exercise can …