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Why You Should Be Nasal Breathing
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Why You Should Be Nasal Breathing

Breathing is something we do automatically, without giving it much thought. Most of us are accustomed to breathing through our mouths, especially when we’re active or have a stuffy nose. However, there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that nasal breathing, as opposed to mouth breathing, can offer a wide range of health benefits. In this blog post, we’ll explore nose breathing vs mouth breathing and why you should aim to create awareness around your breathing patterns.

Improved Oxygen Absorption

One of the primary reasons to opt for nasal breathing is its superior ability to filter and humidify the air we breathe. The nasal passages are lined with tiny hair-like structures called cilia, which help trap dust, allergens, and pathogens. This filtration process ensures that the air entering your lungs is cleaner and healthier.

The nasal cavity also has a higher humidity level compared to the mouth. When you breathe through your nose, the air is moistened and warmed before reaching your lungs. This optimal air conditioning process improves oxygen absorption and helps maintain proper lung function.

For those who may experience occasional difficulties with nasal breathing, such as congestion or mild obstruction, there are solutions like nasal strips. These adhesive strips are designed to gently lift and open the nasal passages, making it easier to breathe through your nose. Our founder, Ben, for instance, wears them each night when sleeping and has noticed a positive benefit on overall recovery. These strips can be particularly helpful in aiding nasal breathing during sleep and can be found here.

Enhanced Lung Function

Nasal breathing also promotes better lung function. Breathing through your nose naturally slows down the breath rate and encourages diaphragmatic breathing – a healthier and more efficient way to breathe. This type of breathing engages the diaphragm, the main muscle responsible for the expansion of the lungs. As a result, you take deeper breaths, which can increase lung capacity and oxygen exchange.

Moreover, nasal breathing promotes the release of nitric oxide, a gas that dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow. This enhances the delivery of oxygen to various parts of the body, including the brain and muscles, which can lead to increased energy levels and better overall health.

Stress Reduction and Better Sleep

Nasal breathing can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality. When you breathe through your nose, your body activates the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the “rest and digest” system. This system promotes relaxation, lowers heart rate, and reduces stress levels.

Nasal breathing during sleep can help prevent snoring and sleep apnea, conditions that can disrupt sleep patterns and negatively impact overall health. By breathing through your nose, you maintain open airways and ensure a deeper, more restful sleep.

Improved Physical Performance

During training, you can significantly benefit from nasal breathing. Nasal breathing allows for better oxygen utilisation, which can improve endurance and physical performance. It also helps to regulate breathing patterns and reduce the risk of hyperventilation during intense workouts.

Many athletes incorporate nasal breathing techniques into their training to optimise their performance and recovery. By mastering nasal breathing, you can potentially unlock new levels of fitness and athleticism.

Conclusion

Being aware of your breathing patterns and ensuring you’re nasal breathing in your daily life and physical activities can be a game-changer for your overall health and well-being. It’s a simple yet highly effective practice that offers a myriad of benefits, from improved oxygen absorption and enhanced lung function to reduced stress and better sleep. Nasal breathing isn’t just for relaxation; it’s a powerful tool that can optimise your physical performance and improve your overall quality of life.

So, the next time you catch yourself breathing through your mouth, remember the hidden benefits of nasal breathing. It’s a natural, accessible, and powerful way to support your health, boost your performance, and elevate your quality of life. Incorporate nasal breathing into your daily routine and watch as it becomes a vital component of your journey toward optimal health and fitness.

References

  1. The health benefits of nose breathing
  2. Effects of nasal airflow on breathing during sleep in normal humans
  3. The effect of nasal breathing versus oral and oronasal breathing during exercise
  4. Effects of the nasal strip and dilator on nasal breathing – a study with healthy subjects