Yawning is a common and natural phenomenon which can occur anytime and anywhere. It is not a thing to worry about as long as it does not occur frequently, or without any reason. For example, a person yawning while lying on the couch after the day's work is never a matter of concern. But, if one yawns excessively and frequently in the morning, while running, or while working out; it may definitely be something to raise suspicion. Many people complain of yawning during workout. Why does this happen? Is stress the only cause, or are there any underlying medical conditions related to it? Let us find the potential causes of yawning while working out in detail.
What Causes Yawning During Exercise
If you go for an early morning workout, you are sure to yawn while working out. However, this should not happen if you sleep well and have a good pre-workout breakfast. Excess yawning, even in the early morning workout, can occur due to other reasons. Stress or fatigue is the most common reason for causing excessive yawning. If you workout in the evening, you are sure to be stressed. Exhaustion due to overwork or working out for a long time can cause stress and fatigue.
Secondly, yawning too much is also associated with lack of oxygen. If the level of carbon dioxide in the body rises and that of the oxygen decreases, a person starts yawning frequently and excessively so that there is an adequate supply of oxygen to the blood, through the lungs. When a person exercises, the oxygen inhaled through the nose may not be sufficient for the lungs and heart. Therefore, he may start yawning involuntarily. These two are the most common causes of yawning while doing cardio, or even strength training.
There may even be a more severe cause for excessive yawning and that is due to the vasovagal reaction / response. This condition occurs due to the action of the vagus nerve which causes the heart to slow down. It can even lead to fainting if the blood supply to the brain is slowed down. Vasovagal reaction is a serious condition and needs medical treatment. It should be noted that apart from these conditions, minor situations like sheer boredom can also cause frequent yawning.
Similarly, it is a known fact that yawning is contagious, i.e., you involuntarily have a great urge to yawn if you see or hear someone yawning. There is no known reason for it, but, it can also lead to constant yawning in people while working out.
It is essential to find out the cause for excessive yawning in order to look for treatment. If it is caused due to stress, one should plan his/her schedule so that he/she is not exhausted or over fatigued while working out. It is recommended to work out at the same time every day to avoid stress. Secondly, yawning caused due to deprivation of oxygen can be treated by learning the technique of deep breathing. Deep breathing while exercising can prevent excessive yawning. It is also advisable to have a proper warm up, or perform stretching exercises before working out.
Thirdly, vasovagal response is a rare condition and is usually accompanied with other symptoms like lightheadedness and loss of consciousness. If any of these symptoms are observed, or if no known cause of yawning is found, one should consult a doctor to diagnose the condition and get it treated.
From this write-up, you must have concluded that yawning while exercising is quite a common phenomenon. However, it should not be ignored as it can be caused due to minor as well as severe conditions. It is wise to diagnose the cause and look for measures to prevent it. Take care!