We all know how important breathing is however do we really know how to breathe properly?
Breathing properly has been a struggle for a lot of people in society today, and that comes down to the environment and lifestyles we have been living and created for ourselves in today’s fast paced climate.
So you’re probably wondering how do we actually breathe right? Well ,look its going to completely change your life once you correct those breathing habits.
But before we dive into how to breathe lets talk about the correlation of bad breathing habits, and how illness and disease are created. You see we breathe through our mouth which is connected to our synthetic nervous system, that is, our “Fight or Flight” survival and reactive response that dates back to the age of the cave men and women to overcome nearby danger. Essentially, if we saw a lion running after us we would pump our adrenals full of cortisol to outrun any animal or fight someone attacking us.
An essential function we have needed to survive, however, we now put ourself in a fight or flight response everyday in society because of the lost art of breathing properly, which also lowers our immune health and allows our health to become compromised, lowers our IQ causing us to act in a reactive way and emotionally non-proactive way VS being in our parasynthetic state of “Rest and Digest”. That’s when we are calm, relaxed, our body is functioning properly to heal and recover from the stress induced state we have been put under.
So lets touch on 5 things that you will benefit from by breathing correctly…
- Your Sleep Improves and Sleep Apnea Could Be a Thing of The Past
There was a study with an objective goal to compare the effect of an improved nasal airway on obstructive sleep apnea.
Methods: A prospective study of 50 consecutive patients with nasal airway obstruction and OSA was carried out.
The Results Found That: Subjectively, nasal breathing improved in 49 (98%) patients, whereas snoring decreased or disappeared in 17 (34%); the remaining 33 (66%) patients did not notice any significant change in their snoring. Daytime energy levels increased in 39 (78%) patients and remained unchanged or worsened in 11 (22%).
In short deeper sleep was reached which gave most patients more energy daily and reduced snoring through nasal breathing. You can find the study here.
2. Nasal breathing alters your nervous system to stay in a parasympathetic state.
This is your Rest and Digest Nervous System which is an essential part of any recovery, this state allows more proactive cognitive performance, your bodies time to go through a maintenance phase to allow the body to fully recover, controlling the nervous system allows you to step back and relax without staying in your fight or flight nervous system which diverts all your energy away from keeping a strong immune system.
3. Mouth breathing can cause bad posture and effect your facial structure.
Theres a link between a flat drippy face and not breathing correctly, a study found that breathing through your mouth had an effect on the skeletal structure of the face in the early years of development.
You will also find with breathing through the mouth that your posture can be effected due to breathing into the chest and not the diaphragm which can be the cause of over extension of the lumbar spine creating back pain, lumbar lordosis which is (lower back excessive extension) and kyphosis (excessive upper back flexion). While also weakening the intrinsic stabilisation system because of lack of internal core activation by not breathing into the diaphragm.
4. Nasal Breathing through exercise has a correlation to prolonged exercise performance.
In Dallam’s study, participants were tested after six months using only nasal breathing, which meant their bodies had adapted to the practice. Results were taken when subjects breathed only nasally, and only through the mouth. Just like in the study that examined bronchoconstriction, default mouth breathing was ensured by asking each subject to were a nose clip. The results showed that:
- Breathing rate was much slower during nasal breathing than oral breathing. When the athletes nose-breathed during running, they took 39.2 breaths per minute, compared with 49.4 breaths per minute in oral breathing
- The percentage of carbon dioxide in expired air, called end tidal carbon dioxide, was much higher in the nose breathing trial (44.7mmHg compared with 40.2mmHg in mouth breathing)
- End tidal oxygen pressure was lower when participants nose-breathed. Less oxygen in expired air means that more of the inhaled oxygen is being absorbed into the bloodstream
- Speed of breathing was 22% lower in when breathing was through the nose
The results of the study also indicated that after six months exercising using only nasal breathing, the runners were able to achieve the same optimum oxygen consumption when they were mouth breathing. This is thought to be because the nasal breath training had enabled them to develop slower breathing patterns. Slower breathing gives extra time for oxygen to diffuse into the bloodstream, as air is pulled deeper into the lungs and stays there longer. The 22% reduction in breathing speed also represents easier, less effortful respiration.
5. Breathing can change your brain wave state to allow you to tap into a flow state to be more productive.
Breathing into a deep meditative state can put you into an alpha or theta state which is when you get the feeling of flowing through tasks easily such as at work or home. Essentially mastering how proactive you are!
How to Breathe Daily
Well its times to get your new habit in check!
Ideally we want to breathe through the nose to reap the benefits of nasal breathing, start your day with 5 – 10 Minutes of nasal breathing while easing into your day listening to your favourite tunes or start the morning with a 10 minute walk breathing in and out of the nose only to reset your breathing patterns for the day.
Ideally you want to take 2 seconds in, 1 second hold, 2 seconds out and hold 1 second.
You’ll start to feel the feel the benefits within days from increased energy, better sleep, and allowing the nitric oxide from nasal breathing to improve your health.