I've been noticing in the past 3 or so years (I'm 17) that when I twist my upper body or move my shoulders up and down, opposite each other, that I either inhale or exhale sharply, like I'm gasping. I'm not controlling this, it happens even if I hold my breath, however it only occurs if my mouth is open. I do not have asthma or other breathing problems, though sometimes I do get short of breath after running. I have not had any running experience with sports or other activities however, so the two things may not be related. I was wondering what could be causing this sharp breath to happen?
The upper body and shoulders, include muscles that are called accessory muscles of respiration. Accessory means that they are not ordinarily used with quiet respiration. What you are doing with the twisting or shoulder movements is just causing these muscles to contract and when they do, they expand or contract your lungs, causing air to move in or out. That is what they are designed to do. Everyone gets short of breath with running. How short of breath and the time required to recover depend on your degree of fitness and the strenuousness of the exercise. Keep on running and try not to pay attention to your breathing.
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