Breathing Strategies: From Daily Calm to Exercise Enhancement

Key Takeaways:

  • Physiological sighing, a double inhale through the nose and a long exhale, can rebalance oxygen and carbon dioxide levels effectively.
  • This form of sighing is natural and spontaneously occurs in both animals and humans to stabilize respiration.
  • Utilizing physiological sighs can relieve exercise-induced side stitches by adjusting the phrenic nerve’s sensory feedback.
Tap into the innate wisdom of your breath with physiological sighing, a powerful technique for stress relief and resolving exercise-induced side stitches. Learn how this simple breathing tool can enhance your daily life and workouts.


The power of breath extends beyond relaxation, infiltrating every aspect of our physiology. From the natural rhythm that controls our stress to the sharp pang of a side stitch during exercise, breathing plays a pivotal role. The physiological sigh, a tool honed by our own biology, offers a multifaceted solution.

The Spontaneous Physiological Sigh

In moments of fatigue or stress, our bodies often take over with a physiological sigh. This spontaneous action is a testament to our innate ability to self-regulate and recalibrate our breathing, ensuring we maintain a healthy balance of gases in our system.

Alleviating the Side Stitch with Breath

Exercise, while invigorating, can sometimes bring discomfort in the form of a side stitch. This is often not a true muscular cramp but a referred sensation from the diaphragm or liver, modulated by the phrenic nerve. Employing physiological sighs during physical activity can alleviate this discomfort, allowing for a smoother and more enjoyable exercise experience.

Final Thoughts

Breath is not just a life-sustaining force; it’s a versatile tool for maintaining equilibrium in both mind and body. From enhancing calm to improving exercise performance, the applications of mindful breathing are vast and deeply rooted in our physiology.

What to do next?

Whether you’re sitting at your desk feeling the weight of the day or out on a run encountering a side stitch, remember the physiological sigh. Practice it regularly to foster calm and use it as needed to combat exercise-induced discomfort. Pay attention to how this simple act influences your overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I incorporate physiological sighing into my daily routine?

You can use physiological sighing anytime you feel stressed or before sleep to calm your nervous system. It’s a flexible tool that can be used on the spot or as a structured daily practice.

Why does a physiological sigh help with a side stitch?

A physiological sigh can adjust the feedback from the sensory components of the phrenic nerve, which may alleviate the pain experienced as a side stitch during physical activities.

While not always, many side stitches, especially on the right side, are related to the diaphragm and its nerve connections rather than actual muscular issues.

About the author:
Shahane Tan

Shahane Tan

Shahane Tan, a Nursing graduate from Xavier University, combines healthcare expertise with roles in real estate and life coaching. Passionate about holistic well-being, her insights bridge science and practicality. Explore her balanced wellness approach at

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