Breathe Through Your Nose – Not Your Mouth

When I was young my mom was always telling me to close my mouth.  You might catch flies she’d joke.  I wish I had listened to her.  When I was in my early 20’s and addicted to aerobics and lots of other physical activities, I got into the habit of using my mouth to breathe. Turns out mom was right.  I did catch a few bugs in my mouth when I was cycling back in my younger days.  But that’s not all I caught. I formed a very bad breathing habit that has been with me since.

Your Nose Is There For A Reason

Correct breathing is very important for your biology. Your nose is a very important line of defense for your immune system.  It performs similarly to an air filter.  For example, the mucous in the nose contains a bacteria that kills viruses and bacteria, the hair filters out particles, tiny insects and dust that could affect the lungs.

Proper breathing techniques improve digestion and circulation, and can help prevent respiratory problems such as bronchitis and shortness of breath.

How we breathe affects the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our  lungs and blood.  Proper CO2 levels are required for a healthy blood pH. If your breath is too fast or too shallow, you may increase the pH of your blood.  This can result in a reduction of blood getting to your brain, muscles and other areas of your body.  A certain level of CO2 is also necessary for your cells to maintain the correct level of acidity so they can perform their functions properly.

Shallow breathing does not exercise the lungs enough.  Good breathing techniques will help maintain a high metabolism and ensure oxygen is delivered to vital tissues. A high delivery of oxygen to all areas of the body is more important than food.

The brain requires more oxygen than any other organ.  A brain that lacks oxygen can cause mental sluggishness and even depression.  Vision and hearing can also decline.  Breathing correctly can reduce stress levels, boost immunity and even help with conditions like insomnia.

Good Breathing Techniques

What is the best way to breathe?  Yoga is a great place to learn good breathing techniques. There are all sorts of tips on the web if you do some research.  Dr. Weil has Three Breathing Exercises that are very good and can help you get started.

Start by making a habit to keep your mouth closed when you breathe.  And just like mom said, you won’t catch any bugs either.

To your Health!

Peter Gillham

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