Why We Yawn During Exercise
Yawning is involuntary. Yawning during exercise can occur for a variety of reasons, including fatigue or level of exertion. Although most reasons for yawning are harmless, some may indicate a more serious condition.
Fatigue As your body's natural response to fatigue, yawning during exercise may indicate that you need more sleep. Changes in your normal routine, such as overworking, may cause fatigue and yawning during exercise. Schedule exercise at the same time each day to avoid yawning throughout your workout. Doing so, allows your body to adjust to an exercise schedule and make it easier to head to the gym. Adjust your sleep schedule to ensure you get seven or more hours of sleep a night.
Significance Many researchers believe yawning to be a way for the body to release carbon dioxide and fight off fatigue and drowsiness. The act of yawning lifts blood pressure and elevates heart rate, providing a quick boost to the entire system. Exercise can promote shallower breathing, meaning loss oxygen intake and a buildup of carbon dioxide, resulting in increased yawning. Numerous studies have failed to find any link between oxygen intake while exercising and an increase in yawning.
Considerations Certain medications may increase the frequency of yawning. Medications typically spark yawning all day long and not just while exercising. Yawning can also be contagious. Even merely thinking about yawning can start a yawning fit.
Prevention While there's no set way to prevent yawning during exercise, your best bet may be to keep a healthy sleep schedule and get plenty of rest before your workouts. Although no proof exists connecting oxygen levels to yawning frequency during exercise, you should still focus on maintaining regular breathing patterns while working out.
Warning Excessive yawning during exercise, while usually nothing to worry about, may be a sign of anemia. Anemia is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient red blood cells to carry oxygen. Yawning may also indicate a possible blood pressure disorder or even a potentially dangerous heart condition. If you notice yourself yawning more than normal, make an appointment with your physician and receive a thorough evalutation to remove all doubt.