September 08, 2021

How Breathing Training Can Help Your Brain and Energy Levels

In this article, we take you through the 3 biggest problems caused by hyperventilation as well as the benefits of breathing training methods like breathwork and meditation.

How Breathing Training Can Help Your Brain and Energy Levels

Did you know that the quality, speed, and volume of your breath have a huge impact on your overall health and energy?

Article Highlights

  • The three most common problems associated with weak breathing patterns are Hyperventilation Syndrome, low tidal volume during exercise, and lung damage due to pollution and disease.

  • Breathing training techniques like breathwork meditation can help to offset hyperventilation caused by anxiety.

  • Inspiratory Muscle Training can help to tone your respiratory muscles which will result in deeper, fuller breaths during exercise.

We are all born expert breathers, but factors such as stress, weak respiratory muscles, and lung damage can lead to unhealthy breathing patterns over time. These shallow breathing patterns can result in a whole host of symptoms including fatigue, dizziness, and even poor muscle recovery. Here are the three most common problems associated with poor breathing and how you can train yourself out of them. 

Problem #1: Hyperventilation Syndrome

Hyperventilation syndrome is a collection of symptoms brought on by breathing in a quick, shallow manner. This particular syndrome is typically caused by anxiety and can cause issues in the lungs and the respiratory system. (1). You might think that you are breathing normally right now, but you might be surprised to discover that you are hyperventilating at a very low level.

To test your breathing pattern for signs of hyperventilation, place your hands near the bottom part of your ribcage and take a breath in. If you notice that your fingertips are moving away from each other, you are pulling enough air into your lungs on each breath and aren’t hyperventilating. If your hands remain relatively still, then you may need to engage in a breathwork-based meditation practice to help control your anxiety levels and control your hyperventilation (4). 

Problem #2: Low Tidal Volume During Exercise

Tidal volume refers to the amount of air that moves in and out of the lungs with each breath. A healthy male should be taking in about 500 ml of air per breath and a healthy female, 400 ml. If you’ve ever felt light-headed after an intense workout, it could be that you are stuck in a low tidal breathing pattern and aren’t reaching the optimal levels (5). This means that you aren’t able to take deep enough breaths during exercise. If you find that your breathing problems only kick in during a workout, then you might benefit from both posture correction and respiratory muscle exercises or “Inspiratory Muscle Training Exercises” (2). These types of exercises can be done on their own or with a breathing training device and will help to control the amount of air going into the body. Regular practice will tone up the respiratory muscles and teach the body how to breathe deeply during a workout. This results in a better overall performance as well as a faster recovery. 

Problem #3: Lung Damage

Those with lung damage caused by air pollution, smoking, or other diseases will almost always have a difficult time breathing. Lung damage can inhibit the absorption of oxygen which can result in fatigue, impaired exercise capacity, and general low-quality of life. Lung damage can be treated with pharmaceuticals like prednisone (3) as well as various forms of breathing training techniques like breathwork meditation and inspiratory muscle training. Although breathing training can’t completely reverse lung damage, it can make up for a generally weak breathing pattern.

Breathing training is highly beneficial for both your mental and physical health. If you find yourself up against one of the three problems mentioned in this article, consider engaging in a breathwork practice or a respiratory muscle training program to finally get the oxygen your body deserves. 

Analyzing the breath is the most trusted tool for crafting personalized programs for disease prevention, improved performance, and longevity. PNOĒ has made breath analysis easy and accessible as you can conduct the test from the comfort of your living room. Through a 20 minute test, it can assess your breathing patterns and lung function, identify breathing-related issues and prescribe personalized breathwork to overcome them. 

You can find more information about the PNOĒ Home Test here.


1. Hyperventilation Syndrome, DCHS - NHS.

2. What to know about Inspiratory Muscle Training; Airofit.

3. Interstitial lung disease

4. Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response; Harvard Health.

5. Physiology, Tidal Volume, Sasha Hallett; Fadi Toro; John V. Ashurst; StatPearls

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