The Surprising Trick to a Better Workout

Photo by: CN Digital Studio
Run Your Ass Off (Really!)

Jog a 12-minute mile and you torch 8 calories per minute. Crank it to an 8-minute-mile pace and you melt 13! That adds up to as many as 250 ... more 
Photo by: CN Digital Studio
Run Your Ass Off (Really!)

Jog a 12-minute mile and you torch 8 calories per minute. Crank it to an 8-minute-mile pace and you melt 13! That adds up to as many as 250 extra calories on a 50-minute run. How do you speed up without feeling as if you're going to see your breakfast again? On your first foot strike, inhale "a sip" of air through your nose and mouth>, explains Alison McConnell, Ph.D., author of Breathe Strong, Perform Better. Exhale through your mouth on your third foot strike. You'll naturally fall into a rhythm of inhaling and exhaling every two steps, McConnell says. Why it works: Your diaphragm, the sheet of muscles that power your lungs, moves downward every time you inhale, but it's nestled between your lungs and your liver and stomach, which all move up and down as you run. When you match your cadence with your breaths, everything syncs up as you stride. Suddenly, you'll run smoother, so speeding up will seem weirdly easy. Which takes us back to that 250-calorie bonus burn. You're welcome.

less 
1 / 5
Tue, Oct 9, 2012 3:02 PM EDT
Lindsey Emery, SELF magazine



You know a good inhale-and-exhale session helps you Zen out. See how O2 can also earn you an oh-my-God butt, fabulous flat abs, sexy-yogi muscles and more.




More from SELF:


6 Moves for a Great Butt

5 Simple Steps to Cellulite-Free Skin


3 CrossFit Total-Body Workouts


6 Secrets to Firing Up Your Metabolism