Around 30 million people in the U.S. are golfers, and for good reason. Both fun and, at times, very challenging, golf has many mental and physical benefits. Whether you hit the course as a hobby or a profession, many people are surprised to learn that nasal breathing (yes, breathing through your nose) can give you a competitive edge and help you take your performance to the next level. Here’s how.
How Nose Breathing Boosts Performance in Golf
When it comes to your swing, you might think that having a rigid swing from time to time is just par for the course. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Nasal breathing can help you breathe through each swing while giving you the endurance you need to control your swing.
Benefits of Nose Breathing While Golfing
More Consistent, Accurate Shots
When golfing, it’s important that your core muscles are strong so that you can transfer force from your core to your legs and arms. Therefore, you swing with force and purpose.
Your follow through can’t be rigid. Learning to breathe through your swing can help to ensure that your swing and shot is more accurate and fluid. Even one small movement can affect the direction of the ball. Proper breathing can help you control it.
Take a deep breath in and out through the nose before you take a shot. Relax your arms and take another breath in during your backswing. Breathe out through the nose as you hit the ball, continuing to breathe through the upswing.
That’s not the only thing nasal breathing can help you with as you play. If you want to play longer games with less fatigue, nasal breathing is key.
Calm Your Breathing, Heart Rate, and Mind
It’s hard to get through a round of golf without at least a few nerve-racking shots. Whether it’s a shot over a hazard, a knee-knocker putt, or teeing off on 18 when the round is tied, there are bound to be at least a few high pressure moments.
Thankfully, your breath can be used to bring your heart rate down quickly, restoring the calmness you need to execute the perfect shot. We’ll walk through this exercise later on in this article.
Play Longer With Less Fatigue
Have you ever felt fatigued by the time you hit the back nine? Noticing your shot quality going down as the hours go on? Well, your nose can help you energize and take on each remaining hole with your best effort.
Breathing through the nose has been scientifically proven to help athletes push it for longer with less effort needed. This is largely because of the Bohr Effect.
When nasal breathing, your oxygenation efficiency improves, meaning that your heart and lungs don’t have to work as hard to deliver sufficient oxygen to your hard-working muscles. This lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels.
In turn, you’ll be able to push it harder as you play, practice, or complete your best golf workouts since your body is properly oxygenated.
Benefits of Nose Breathing During Rest
We’ve seen how nose breathing can improve golf performance while playing, but what about during rest and recovery? This is where you can take advantage of several other benefits of nose breathing.
Injury Prevention and Recovery
Nasal breathing not only helps to prevent injuries on and off the course, but it can also help you recover more quickly from soreness or muscle strain.
This is because of the nitric oxide produced by our noses during nasal breathing. It’s a miracle molecule that takes the body out of “fight or flight” mode and puts it into “rest and digest” mode.
As a result, you can nasal breathe your way through sore muscles to put your body into the state of relaxation and recovery it needs.
Nasal breathing can even improve your posture, which will help you on and off the green.
Did you know that it’s been proven that mouth breathing changes facial shape?
Mouth breathing leads to an increased risk of a forward head posture. This is because the tongue doesn’t sit on the roof of the mouth in the correct position (like it does during nasal breathing).
When your cranial posture is affected, it has downstream impacts on your entire body posture. By breathing through the nose with a proper tongue posture, the posture of your head and neck will follow. With the proper posture, you’ll reduce your chances of injury and back problems.
Try This Nose Breathing Exercise While Golfing
One of the most common reasons a good golf game falls apart is nerves. Whether it’s one bad hole that throws you off your game or a high pressure shot that elevates your heart rate, nerves can throw off your momentum. Therefore, it’s advantageous to have a breathing exercise that can help you lower your heart rate and calm your nerves on demand.
Next time you find yourself with an elevated heart rate in between shots or or in between holes, try this exercise to bring yourself back to calmness. This is a method practiced by Navy SEALs before going into high intensity situations. If it works for them, it should definitely work for you on the course!
Begin by inhaling through the nose for four seconds, breathing into the diaphragm. Then, hold your breath for four seconds before then exhaling through the nose for four seconds. Finally, pause for four seconds before starting again. Repeat this 4-4-4-4 exercise 5-7 times.
This slow, controlled breathing with pauses causes CO2 levels to rise to optimal levels. With a higher level of CO2 in the body, muscle oxygenation becomes more efficient. As a result, your heart does not have to work as hard, reducing your heart rate and blood pressure to normal levels.
Take Your Golf Performance to the Next Level with SomniFix
When your focus is out of whack, your whole game is thrown off. Why not try adding mouth tape to the par-tee? SomniFix Strips help you to focus your mind and your breath without having to think twice about it.
To train your body to default to nose breathing, try wearing a Strip over your lips the next time you hit the range. Nose breathing begets more nose breathing, so doing this at the range will help you naturally nose breathing on the course.
In addition to using the strips during golf, you can also wear them during sleep to boost recovery, get the quality rest you need to keep you on your game, and take advantage of countless other nose breathing benefits.
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