Out of Breath?

            What does it mean to be “out of breath”?  The quarterback runs and returns to the huddle out of breath.  The grandparent wears a breathing tube because, otherwise, she is always out of breath.  I walk the eight flights of stairs to my office and stop because I am out of breath.  Mom won’t walk around the block with me because she does not like getting out of breath. 

            Being out of breath is more than a feeling; it is a condition of being winded and needing more oxygen than we have been getting.

            Is it bad to be out of breath, as most of us assume most of the time?  Is it to be avoided?

            Being out of breath may be a sign of a medical condition, a need or a problem.  The quarterback may need more fitness training (or just a few seconds to ‘catch his breath’).  The grandparent’s medical condition may have resulted in reduced lung efficiency resulting in the need for an oxygen supply to enrich the air she breathes.

            But in all of these cases, as in the case of my getting winded walking up stairs, the act of getting out of breath may not be a bad thing.  Getting winded may be the best way to improve our wind, reducing the tendency to get out of breath the next day.

            A random walk or occasional flight of stairs will not likely do much good.  But a daily walk can do wonders.  The body respond and, with regular (daily) stimulus, can substantially improve our fitness.  So get out of breath – every day – and look forward to doing it!