If you weren’t breathing properly, you ldn’t be alive, right? Well, not quite!
As might you have guessed, there are two main methods of breathing: mouth breathing and nose breathing. Breathing through your nose is one of the most beneficial things you can do for the overall health of your body and for your longevity.
Humans evolved to breathe mainly through the nose, and if you’ve ever observed a baby or a pet, you’ll see that this is how they naturally breathe most of the time. This is related to how our throats are naturally configured; babies can breathe AND suckle at the same time without choking. It’s a survival mechanism!
The way our noses process and filtrate air are intentionally designed very differently than our mouths when we breath.
Compared to mouth breathing, nose breathing allows for better…
Filtration of foreign particles such as dust, allergens, and pollen
Humidify and warms inhaled air making it easier for your lungs to use
Increase oxygen uptake and circulation
Promotes activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms and relaxes the body, slows the breathing and the heart rate, promotes digestion
Improves lung capacity
Reduces risk of snoring and sleep apnea
Strengthens the diaphragm muscle
Aids your immune system
Lowers your risk of snoring, poor sleep and sleep apnea
Reduced risk of periodontal disease, cavities and bad breath
Helps prevent colds, flu, allergic reaction, hay fever, irritable coughing
Supports the correct formation of teeth, mouth, tongue placement
Produces nitric oxide(NO) in the nasal sinuses. NO is a vasodilator and bronchodilator that increases oxygen transport throughout the body
Phew! That a long list and there is many benefits not listed here as well.
Mouth breathing can temporarily be necessary during strenuous exercise or when we’re battling a cold, but when people end up mouth breathing every night, it can indicate a problem.
So how should we optimally breathe…?
Taking a proper breath starts in the nose, but should also involve your diaphragm and adequate rib excursion to helps fill your lungs.
Here are my three favorite breathing exercises to help you improve your nasal breathing:
Alternate nostril breathing (gentle variation)
In conclusion, just remember to use your mouth to eat and your nose to breath!
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