How to stop getting out of breath when exercising

How to stop getting out of breath when exercising -  main image

Using all the tactics we can, like deep breathing, breathing exercises and aerobic capacity training to help us stay oxygenated

Running out of gas is basically another slang term for running out of breath. Our engines simply stop working because we don’t have the fuel we need in order to press on. However, one obvious yet incredibly advantageous difference presents itself – oxygen doesn’t cost money.

Sure, you need other fuels like the right nutrients and rest, but oxygen, and aerobic conversion, is one of the most useful of them all. Fueling muscle endurance, nutrient conversation and general mental optimisation, to name a few. So, how exactly do we stop these aspects from deteriorating mid-run, and help us to hold our form instead of our breaths?

Let’s find out.

Debunking the myth

Firstly, getting out of breath isn’t the worst thing in the world. Okay, it means you’re flagging on your current workout, but it’s also a sign that your aerobic systems are improving. If you don’t work out or even walk much, you get weak. Those muscles demand more oxygen, and so unhealthy people get very out of breath (for a few reasons beyond that, but still). You, however, will see progression in the distance (or other exertion metrics) it takes before getting out of breath. This is obviously because your respiratory and cardio systems are bettering as a result of your exercise.

This doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t ways to help reduce breathlessness and soldier on for the wider benefits of exercise.

Tips and tricks

1) Using pursed lips breathing for your exercise routine is a great way to start. You don’t need a full exercise program to understand the basics, and this tip is one of the simplest of them all. Breathe out with your lips pursed as if you were whistling. This helps you to empty the air from your lungs. 

2) Paced breathing exercises. Another simple yet effective trick, one that can be used with weight training too, all you need to do is pace your breathing in time with your steps (or lifts), helping you to empty the carbon dioxide from your lungs.

3) Deep breathing, taking it slow. If you have trouble breathing and feel your lung capacity is an issue, then you probably don’t have enough oxygen in your lungs. All you need to do is make sure you actively fill your lungs as much as possible (slowly) and exhale properly too. This will help maximise oxygen intake, thus improving your systems all round, and of course, leaving you less out of breath.


In summary, these tips are so obvious it hurts, but of course, it’s hard to remember the simple stuff when you’re fighting more than just breathing. To improve your fitness game all round try to remember the fundamentals, and you’ll be up to a normal level of breathing in no time.


What is a lung condition?

A lung condition is a medical issue with one or more of your lungs. This could be asthma, for example, but there is a tonne more. If you feel like you may have one, or any other inspiratory muscles issue, then consult with your GP now.

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