Over the last couple months I have been experimenting with a couple different breathing methods – Box breathing and Wim Hof mostly – and it has been eye opening to notice little changes in perceived exertion, increases in performance, better posture and improvements in my 5 MightySat data points. On days that I feel tired and sluggish and my numbers don’t look good (usually this is before my second workout) I will perform twenty minutes of box breathing (for instance) and then, most of the time, I will feel refreshed — like I just woke up from a great nap! And, my data points usually improve! It’s so nice to have objective data to support what I feel is of going on in my body.**
And it’s backed by some science. There is an awesome study done by Harvard Health Publications that reports that two common factors that can reduce your oxygen saturation during exercise include iron deficiency and poor ventilation. The study states that failure to breathe deeply and effectively can contribute to low oxygen saturation during exercise. In another study by Wood and Morton conducted for the Australian Sports Commission, researchers reported that up to half of elite endurance athletes experienced lowered oxygen saturation before athletic competition. This study found that ventilation breathing techniques were effective for eliminating the decrease in oxygen saturation, and that athletes could be trained to breathe more effectively, therefore creating a setting in the body that is fully and completely ready to go perform at peak. Thus sparked an idea to see how I am breathing pre-competition! I work so hard to train my body and my mind, so why wouldn’t I also make sure my body is receiving optimum levels of oxygen! This is where the MightySat comes in. I use this device to measure my oxygen saturation at key points in the day –usually morning, pre-practices, post- practices and in the evenings. (I use it for other data points also, but I will just focus on oxygen saturation here). It’s really easy – it takes only a couple minutes to measure each time.
So that’s been my experience, but I’d love to hear about YOUR experiences with breathing techniques, the MightySat, and/or any other recovery techniques. I’m always looking for ways to get better and/or help if I can!
** Everyone’s heart rate zones and other biometrics are individual to themselves, that is why its important to record data over about a month long period to get a baseline of YOUR biometrics and how they change in response to fatigue, recovery