Why Do I Yawn When I Exercise?

Yawning is a natural reaction when you are tired or you are in your midday energy slump but you may also yarn during your workout session.

Why Do I Yawn When I Exercise?

While there is no definitive scientific answer as to why yawning when you exercise happens, there are many potential reasons, from feeling stressed to a higher brain temperature.

In this article, we take a closer look at why we yawn when we exercise and how you can stop yawning to enjoy your training session.

Reasons Why You Yawn During Workout

Researchers found many good physiological reasons why humans yawn. We may feel anxious and need to release tension, or our body is trying to regulate our body temperature.

But there are no studies on why people yawn when they exercise. While yawning is an essential human reflex, there are also potential reasons why you need to yawn during physical activity.

Your Body Temperature Is High

One of the potential reasons why we may yarn during a high-activity workout is that our core body temperature increases significantly.

In order to bring the temperature in our body down, the yawning reflex makes us open our mouths and allow some cool air in to lower the temperature in our body and brain.

While sweating also cools the body, we lose a lot of water with perspiration. In comparison, yawning doesn’t require a lot of physical effort and we feel cool instantly.

You Are Doing A HIIT Workout

The type of exercise you are doing can have a direct impact on your core body temperature causing you to yawn.

One of the most intense exercises, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is commonly associated with an increased heart rate and a higher temperature.

This type of workout engages all our muscles which leads to a spike in the temperature of your body. This can make us yawn during and after the workout.

You Are Drowsy

During our non-workout time, we naturally yawn when we feel tired. This can also be a reason why you are yawning during exercise sessions.

If you squeeze your workout into your daily routine in the early morning or late evening, then your body may not be fired up yet or too tired for intense training.

Your Workout Is Boring

Boredom is a common reason for yawning, even outside of our exercise routine. When your brain isn’t engaged and you feel bored doing the same exercises every day, then you end up yawning.

You Are Anxious Or Stressed

In the past, scientists believed that yawning increases the amount of oxygen in your body. 

However, while this theory has been disproven since, a yawn can increase the blood flow to our brain which helps us relax.

This means that yawning is a reflex when we feel anxious or stressed. Our body tries to reduce the tension by taking a deep breath through yawning.

As you progress in your workout, you may forget about your worries and you begin to focus more on your exercises. Yawning can help improve your concentration and keep you focused.

Is Yawning During Workouts Normal?

Yes, it is perfectly normal to yawn during exercise. In fact, yawning is an important reflex that helps us feel calm and concentrate on our workout.

This being said it is worthwhile making a note of how you are feeling each time you yawn during your training session.

Your body might be craving more water and you may be dehydrated. Yawning could be a way for the body to tell you that your core temperature is too high.

If you feel tired and exhausted in a bad way before, during and after your workout and you continually yawn, then you may want to check this with a doctor.

How To Stop Yawning During Exercise

There could be a number of different reasons why you are yawning while you work out, so how best to stop yawning?

As yawning is a reflex, there is no specific way to stop it. However, if you find out why you feel like you need to yawn, then you can reduce your yawning frequency.

Here are our top tips on what you can do to minimize your yawning when you are exercising.

Why Do I Yawn When I Exercise?

Stay Hydrated

One of the main reasons why you are yawning is your body trying to cool itself down. This means that you can reduce the amount of yawns by simply during more water and keeping your body cool.

You can also try ice packs, exercising in a cool environment or any other cooling methods that keeps your brain temperature steady.

Just keep in mind that you don’t want to put your body in a shock state as too much cold can make your muscle feel stiff making it more difficult to work out.

Wear Moisture Wicking Clothing

Specific gym clothes wick moisture from your body. This keeps your core temperature steady and allows you to feel cool when you hit the workout bench.

Go For Steady Cardio Exercises

Intense types of workouts can increase your body temperature making you feel drowsy and yawn. If you choose specific cardio exercises that aren’t too intense for your body, then you can minimize yawning.

Exercise During The Day

If you usually exercise late in the evening or early morning, then your body may feel too tired for the intense workout. Try some different times during the day.

Make Your Workout Exciting

If you tried all our anti-yawning tips but nothing worked so far, then it is possible that your exercise routine is simply not exciting enough.

Although you are working out your body, your brain also needs to stay active. Try to add variety to your workout. Mix up exercises and add a new exercise every month to challenge your body and your brain.

Final Thoughts

Although there is no definitive scientific evidence why we yawn when we exercise, there are plenty of potential theories, including stress relief and a natural increase in our body temperature.

Laura Simmons
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