Why am i yawning during exercise?

We’ve all been there, in the middle of an intense workout when suddenly, we just can’t stop yawning. It’s a strange phenomenon that seems to make no sense – after all, aren’t we supposed to be getting more energized and alert during exercise? So why do our bodies seem to want nothing more than a good nap mid-squat?

Well my dear reader, fear not! As always, science has the answer. In this article today we will dive into what causes us to yawn during exercise and explore some ways you can combat it.

Let’s Begin by Looking at What Exactly Happens When We Yawn

You might think that yawning is simply a sign of tiredness or boredom – but actually, it’s much more complicated than that.

When we yawn:

  • Our jaw muscles stretch
  • Our heart rate increases for a moment
  • Blood flow also increases briefly

All these factors work together to trigger feelings of alertness in our brains – essentially waking us up when we’re feeling drowsy or sluggish.

Now comes the kicker — Despite trying hard not to…you guessed it…I had two big ol’ jaws splitting yawns whilst researching ‘why am I yawning during exercise’….So let’s focus on its unlikely connections with exercise.

Is There Anything Unique About Yawning Whilst Working Out?

Research conducted over the years suggests something almost ironic – quite usual unless you’re aware of it; exercising may lead people start noticing they are significantly increasing their chances of…Wait for iiiit….Yawning!

Yes! Also known as ‘infectious’ yawning; surveys suggest approximately 50%+ individuals experience increased desire (aaand again) whilst working out….Great…

Such higher incidences’ research hasn’t explained accurately yet but offers three theories:

Theory #1: Yawning Is A Cooling Mechanism

This theory suggests that we yawn in order to take in more oxygen and expel carbon dioxide from our bodies – which ultimately helps us maintain a cooler body temperature during exertion. According to this logic an increase in breathing rate, heart rate, blood flow would force the brain/body into taking faster corrective measures.

Theory #2: We’re Just Bored

A recent study proved just some observers can make people feel motivated or anxious similarly with how well jokes/memes on social media work; it doesn’t have any particular relationship with fatigue/tiredness/boredom i.e., mental state, even though one of most general agreement about yawning is being contagious.

Which brings us onto:

Can Watching Someone Else Yawn Make Me Start Yawning Too?

Yes! You didn’t think you were alone on this did you? Research shows that yawning is actually a contagious behavior (swap competitive for connectivity!), as humans are biologically programmed to respond when other humans nearby show signs of tiredness or exhaustion – so whether you like it or not, if your gym buddy starts yawning mid-workout then chances are high you’ll be fighting off a yawn yourself before too long!

But What If I’m Working Out Alone And Still Find Myself Yawning?

Don’t worry folks; there’s no need cancel that Netflix subscription! As discussed previously increased respiration/heart-rate and those ‘Happy hormones kicks’ can serve as stimuli enough for such occurrences. So there’s always something going on internally correlated with working out!


Now let’s dive deeper into reasons why yawns become frequent while exercising shall we:

The Layman’s Guide To Why You Might Be Struggling With Incessant Yawns At The Gym:

There could be several reasons for all doses/sets of endless “yawnfests” but according to research some of the most prevalent causes are:

Reason # 1: Dehydration

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated during exercise, but did you know that staying well-hydrated can actually help reduce your chances of yawning mid-work-out?

When our bodies become dehydrated, one of the first symptoms we may experience is fatigue and drowsiness – which can in turn lead to more frequent yawning. So make sure that water bottle accompanying you always has some H20 inside!

Reason #2: Lack Of Sleep

Here’s a little PSA for my fellow night-owls – if you’re not getting enough sleep at night then chances are high that it’ll show up loud and clear when you hit the gym.

Sleep-deprivation not only makes us feel tired and groggy during exertion; especially if its been persistently going-on for sometime; it also affects our mental acuity decreasing attention-span too (…I was always curious why I couldn’t catch up fast with others telling me what their daily regime consists off!)

Reason #3: Food Intake

What/how much or before workout matters just as much how much intensity/mammoth weights lifted etc.. A body burning energy quickly needs nutrition replenishment timely…(pizzas after squats? Not so hot)

Low-blood sugar levels or general nutritional deficiencies have both been linked to increased incidences’/rates…so be mindful about eating healthy nutritious meals prior exercising (Or even after); trust me when I say they will pay-off on long runs!


So there we have it folks! Understanding why/how something works always helps tackle/prevent future issues from cropping-up.

Next time your enthusiastic/exhausted self starts uncontrollably opening-up d jaw-clampers extend…pause….perform deep breathing exercises through nostrils breathing-in twice length/duration as opposed to you breathe-out – simple hack yet effective!Try mind-enhancing exercises like solving puzzles/listening euphonious tunes prior-easing/relaxing trick out those stretched fibers.

At end-of-day…despite somewhat seemingly futile-ness and embarrassment, we hope this article will surely salve doubts/questions about possible unusual feeling-incidences whilst exercising.

So keep pushing and sweating through it all – yawns ‘n’ all!

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