When you are running, biking or doing some other cardio activity outdoors, pay attention to how you breathe. Using the right techniques can help you avoid discomfort and maximize your workout.

When inhaling, breathe in through your nose, not your mouth. The nasal passages help filter out pollen, pollution and other irritants; they also keep the air moist and at the right temperature as you take it into your lungs.

If you inhale through the mouth during exercise, the air isn't filtered as well and you risk breathing in irritants that can cause you to cough, wheeze, have shortness of breath -- none of which make for a good workout.

Although some runners exhale through the mouth, it's probably best to exhale through the nose. This way, there's less chance that you'll inhale through the mouth if you begin to get tired and become less focused on breathing.