Resistance training is an important part of any fitness plan. While most people appreciate that correct lifting technique is vital to gain maximum benefits and to prevent injury, breathing sometimes gets ignored.
The Valsalva effect is the large increase in blood pressure that comes from holding your breath while lifting heavy weights. This can be especially devastating if you are at risk of heart disease, stroke or other cerebrovascular disease.
To avoid this, it is important to breathe continuously while exercising. Breathe out on the hard part and breathe in during the easy part of the lift. Practice on lighter weights and get into good habits before attempting the heavier weights.
As always, safety first!