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Winterize Your Running: Breathe Through Your Nose

If running is your go-to exercise and you're trying to have a treadmill-free Winter, let me remind you about the importance of breathing through your nose.

Cold, Winter air is dry and breathing through your mouth increases the dryness while decreasing the temperature of the air. Because your lungs do not like dry air, you can experience asthma-like symptoms, like wheezing and coughing, when you breathe cold air in through your mouth. Breathing through your nose not only filters out air impurities, but it helps to regulate body temperature as well. It also heats up the air, decreasing those asthma-like symptoms.

If nose breathing is difficult for you, start experimenting with it now before the temperatures drop to truly bitter degrees. Breathing through the nose, which I find challenging, helps you breathe more deeply and efficiently, which will ultimately help your running no matter the temperature. If you plan to run in cold temps and have yet to master nose breathing, Runner's World suggests wearing a bandanna over your nose and mouth to help trap the moisture of your breath and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs.


Join The Conversation
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
Good tip. I like the bandanna idea. Thanks!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i always have a runny/stuffy nose when i work out - i know that there was a post about this 'disorder' a while back and at least i know that i'm not alone in this one. with that being the case though, i'm not always able to get enough air while i'm running if i'm breathing through my nose. i'll try to work on it though...since i do understand EXACTLY what you mean about the effects of cold air.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
My nose runs too, both in the cold and when I exercise at all, but it definitely does put a damper on breathing through your nose.
rivrchild rivrchild 8 years
cahill I have the same problem. I get a runny nose just walking leisurely outside for a few minutes in the cold. The runny nose is such a distraction for me that I find it easier to actually breathe through my mouth.
cahill cahill 8 years
my trouble is - as soon as the weather gets a bit chillier, my nose starts pouring! I have to bring several tissues with me when I go running and blowing my nose frequently messes up my stride. Wish tthere was a way to fix it. Any suggestions?
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
I breathe thru my nose when I run regardless of weather. It's way easier for me to regulate my breathing if I do it thru my nose. I'll only huff n' puff thru my mouth if I'm really pushing myself to the limit.
psterling psterling 8 years
Thanks fit, my husband gets asthma-like symptoms when we hike in the winter. We never knew what it was but I'll have to pass this along next time!
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