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Smile and run 

Smiling makes running faster and easier according to a 2018 study (


Facial expressions play an important role in performance by helping runners relax and reduce muscle tension. 

The research conducted in Northern Ireland at Ulster University asked 24 club-level runners to complete four 6-minute running intervals on a treadmill. Each 6-minute run was performed during a single session, with a 2-minute rest between each block.

The purpose was to investigate the effects of smiling, frowning, and relaxation during running.


3 groups were created for the study:

  • One group was asked to smile during the effort (genuine).

  • One group was asked to stay relaxed.

  • One group was asked to frown.

Cardiorespiratory responses were recorded continuously and participants reported perceived effort, affective valence, and activation after each condition.

Each participant also wore a breathing mask that allowed us to measure how much oxygen they consumed while running.

The key finding was that the runners were most economical,  used less energy while smiling. Participants were 2.8% more economical when smiling than frowning, and 2.2% more economical compared with the relaxed condition (group).

Participants reported a higher perceived effort when frowning than smiling or when attempting to relax their hands and their upper body.

It may be one of the reasons why Elide Kipchoge, one of the greatest in History can be seen smiling, so happy so much when running. On top of his natural happiness, it may be an extra trick to add to your toolkit.

You can try it right now, inhale normally and focus on the air coming in, how it feels when coming up the nose. Then take another breath in and smile at the same time. Your will realise we can feel more air coming in too. The smile helps opening up the sinuses, the same way as if you were pulling your sinuses apart slightly with your fingers.

A small smile for a human, a giant smile for performance. 



Cardiac Coherence and benefits

Cardiac coherence is a very simple breathing technique that consists of inhaling for 5 seconds, exhaling for 5 seconds and repeating for 5 minutes continuously. 

It leads to 30 breaths at the same pace in total or even 6 breaths per minute, which is ideal to increase heart rate variability.


The breathing frequency makes the heart coherence in an optimal way.


This leads to greater cardiovascular fitness, being more resilient to stress, manage anxiety better, reinforce the immune system, reduce high blood pressure or even reduce sleeping disorders and depression. 


Studies on Cardiac Coherence have been completed such as the following and a lot of literature can be found on the topic. 


Here’s also a very useful 5-minute video that can help guide you through a session


5 minutes of your day is all it takes to start feeling better. Enjoy! 



Benefits of Nitric Oxide (NO)

Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas produced by almost every cell in the human body and is one of the most important molecules for blood vessel health. 


It is a vasodilator, which means it causes your blood vessels to widen and relax. Nitric oxide increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure but also stimulates the release of certain hormones, such as insulin and human growth hormone. 


Nitric oxide can be provided externally through supplements or as a gas to help patients suffering from pneumonia, SARS, or even COVID for example but the best way to benefit is to breathe the right way.

Indeed, we produce nitric oxide by simply breathing. We produce 4 times more by breathing through the nose and a study in 2002 proved we could produce 15 times more nitric oxide by humming ( A few minutes a day only are enough to help. 


Top benefits of nitric oxide:

  • Improves oxygen delivery to every cell.

  • Expands blood vessels.

  • Boost exercise performance, endurance and recovery.

  • Improves overall circulation.

  • Aids preventing blood clots.

  • Helps regulate blood pressure.

  • Improves erectile dysfunction.

  • Improves sexual performance. 

  • Enhances memory and cognitive function. 

  • Manages diabetes by regulating insulin. 


There are also everyday life products that will impact and lower NO in the body such as mouthwash or acid reflux-reducing medication.





Live Life!


I was out for a short run after work recently, enjoying a rare visit of the sun and ahead of a weekend at home with Storm Aiden hitting Ireland. I had just taken a few pictures and even a short video to encourage people to get out a little bit, I was listening to a Wim Hof breathing session to also focus on my own breath. 


I was running on a path in the woods near my house, I could see people enjoying being outside and as I got near the end of the woods, as the path goes up to join the main road, I saw an older man and a woman trying to push a wheelchair with a young lady was sitting. She couldn’t move at all or speak. Her name is Deirdre and she is 21. 


I helped them up the path. The engine of the wheelchair had stopped working so it was really heavy and that’s why they were stuck. The path was slippery as we were still in the woods and leaves were all over the ground as it had been a raining until mid-afternoon.

As we were struggling up the path, the man and I chatted and I could see big smiles on their faces/. We were talking about how important it was to enjoy every bit of nice weather we can have, enjoying being outside and how good it was for Deirdre.


As I left them and kept running a bit more on the way home, I was thinking about them and in spite of the confinement we currently have in Ireland, we are limited to 5 kilometres around our houses… This is huge in a way. There is so much that can be done! We seem however, to prefer being indoors and complain about being stuck inside. We still have a 10 kilometre-diameter we can use… Again, there is so much that can be done! In France, for example, there is only a 2 kilometre-diameter, which is way less but still better than nothing. Even if we can’t see certain friends or family members, as long as we are healthy, we can still chat with them, call them, interact with them. There are so many things we can do.


So it’s important to make the most out of what we have. Whatever amount that is. Deirdre and her family didn’t have that much time to go out and enjoy but they did. They struggled a bit but they did enjoy being outside. Enjoy the present! Don’t wait for the moment the virus is gone, don’t wait for the moment you can go further than the limitations that are currently given to us. Live fully in the present moment. I don’t know how many lives you have, but I know for sure I have this one, so I’ll go and enjoy it now!




Winter Blues is Old News



"To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold." Aristotle

Amidst the Common Flu, Coronavirus and approaching winter, it is important to know the benefits of cold. Here are some facts that you might have missed through the years:


Better Night’s Sleep


After all, aren’t we all happier when we sleep better? 


The first thing you can do to ensure a good night’s sleep is to be in a cool/cold room. Many studies have proven that cold room can improve the quality of sleep and you’ll fall asleep much faster. Why not try it this evening? Don’t worry, your bed will still keep you snug and warm!


Give Your Heart a Kickstart


Same exercise, Double the benefits!


Whether you go for a jog/run, do a HIIT workout or do weight training, exercising in cold weather, your heart will benefit big time from that. When you exercise in the cold, your heart will work more and faster to keep you warm. And there is nothing wrong with a high performing heart, am I right?


Improve Your Brain Functions


OK, I’m not talking about instant genius here…


However, studies do show that cold weather can boost brain functions and give you more clarity. And the science behind that? Glucose. It turns out the brain needs energy from glucose to function well. It takes more energy to cool your body when it’s hot than it does to warm it up when you’re cold. Meaning, you’ll be left with more glucose for the brain. 






Dear reader,


here is the first post on my blog! I am really excited to be starting this website and welcome you and share some stories and experiences.


Keep an eye on this page for tips and tricks on breathwork, cold exposure, stories that happened to me and… stay tuned.


Some excited projects will be announced soon! 

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