Werk Atleet

Breathe like an athlete

How is it going?


It’s already been three weeks since you attended the ‘Breathe like an Athlete’ session. I’m really curious to know which things you’ve already started applying from the session. Here’s some new inspiration and tips for you along the way.

The breath as a key to your stress levels

In the session, we looked at the Autonomic Nervous System. Throughout the day, ideally, you should switch between the action mode and the rest mode several times. The beauty of breathing is that we can use it as a key to achieve this. The way you breathe determines your state.

Many, fast, shallow breaths, through the mouth towards the chest with a focus on inhalation = sympathetic.
Less, calm, deep (with your diaphragm towards your abdomen), through the nose with a focus on exhalation = parasympathetic.

In the coming weeks, we will focus on three dimensions of functional breathing. This week:
Breathe Deep

“You can interpret ‘deep’ in multiple ways, of course, but I believe by ‘deep,’ we mean low and therefore deep in your body. Breathing deep means sending the breath as deeply into your body as possible. With a deep breath, you activate and use the diaphragm correctly. A deep breath doesn’t have to be very large or carry a lot of air. No, a deep breath is located low in your body and moves 360 degrees.

To practice this, you can do the following exercise:

  • Lie down on a mat with a small cushion under your head if needed. Your knees are bent, and your feet are about 30-40 centimeters from your buttocks.
  • Place a book or a similar object on your navel.
  • Focus on breathing toward your abdomen.
  • Inhale and feel how the book slowly moves upward.
  • Exhale and feel how the book slowly moves downward again.
  • The exercise is to send the breath as low as possible towards your navel without having to tense any muscles (like your six-pack). Keep your breath light and slow.
  • Do this exercise for approximately 5 minutes.

“Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life.”

-Giovanni Papini-

Additonal inspiration

Book tip

EA fantastic book that doesn’t just focus on breathing but also looks back at the time of hunter-gatherers. What can we learn from acute stressors and how can we challenge our bodies to become incredibly resilient in life?


A clear explanation of how the diaphragm works!


Podcast tip

Would you like to help us?

Team Werk Atleet always aims to deliver the best sessions for you. This is what we value most!

Therefore, feedback is always welcome, and you can email it to: jeroen@werkatleet.nl

Because we want to transform as many employees in the Netherlands into athletes as possible, you would greatly assist us by leaving a Google Review. You can do this very easily through the button below.

Our gratitude is immense ❤️

Boeken tip

Gratis vitality scan!

Wil je weten hoe jouw team scoort op vitaliteit? Ontdek het met de gratis WERK ATLEET Vitality ScanWerken er bij jullie al echte “WERKATLETEN”? Ontvang nu de scan en extra info direct in je mailbox.

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