Improving blood flow to improve your athletic performance
Better blood flow, in which sufficient oxygen reaches your muscles, allows you to effect a longer and more beneficial workout. As you move, your heart rate rises and your heart pumps blood to all the parts of your body which are necessary to keep you moving at this higher level. Your metabolic rate then increases, meaning that your body needs more energy to keep going without feeling fatigued; it acquires this energy by producing ATP, an energy molecule whose two main inputs are glucose and oxygen. A healthy circulatory system ensures that oxygen is getting where it needs to be in your body during workout.
In the period immediately following your workout, you should be intaking protein and nutrients that will help your muscles rebuild from the micro-traumas that they incur during exercise. Better blood flow means that these nutrients will reach your muscles in the right quantities to facilitate effective regrowth.
Athletes should make good blood flow a priority
At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Park Slope, we use acupuncture to help improve blood flow in athletes, helping them get the most out of their activities. Acupuncture stimulates circulation by dilating blood vessels and decreasing muscular stress. If you are interested in using acupuncture to effect improvements in your athletic performance, give our office in Brooklyn a call to schedule an appointment today.
As a society, we are actively attempting to unlearn proper breathing technique and it has enormous ramifications on quality of life. If you were only drawing 2/3 of the oxygen you could, and not expelling enough CO2 you would be severely disadvantaging yourself, yet this is what we are choosing to do in the face of air pollution, sit-heavy lifestyles, poor diets and lack of awareness regarding posture. In essence, many of us are only capturing the amount of oxygen needed to plod along, but not enough to prosper and feel great. At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we believe in a more conscious way of life, and there is no better, quicker or easier way to practice this than to start breathing slower and deeper.
Taking a deep breath means:
- In through your nose
- Breathing into the lower belly, which should expand
- Holding for a few seconds
- Exhaling fully and slowly (think 4 seconds)
This helps immediately with anxiety or panic, but it can also be adapted as your primary breathing technique. While breathing only 10 times a minute may seem extreme, it is worth trying to reduce your number of breaths per minute, so that you can feel better. Capturing the full amount of oxygen means you will experience a noticeable increase in productivity and mood. We want to see everyone reap their true potential from the respiratory process, so that every cell can function with the full amount of inputs it needs to provide the body with energy to prosper.
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.