Does more restful sleep, reduced anxiety, lower resting heart rate, improved asthma, better cardiovascular endurance, and a stronger immune system sound like something you may be interested in? Read on to see why you should use your mouth for eating, but NOT for breathing.
When we take a breath of air in, oxygen’s ability to reach our muscles and organs requires a suitable amount of carbon dioxide in our blood. If there’s little carbon dioxide in our bloodstream, the oxygen never leaves our blood and doesn’t reach our muscles and organs!
Why would there be a lack of carbon dioxide in our blood? Let’s find out…
What happens when you chronically mouth breathe?
- Your respiratory rate increases. Meaning you breathe too often and exhale too much carbon dioxide (CO2), decreasing the CO2 in your bloodstream. Low levels of CO2 in the blood is known as hypocapnea.
- Low CO2 causes the protein in our blood (hemoglobin), to hold on to the free oxygen in our bloodstream. Hemoglobin acts like an overprotective parent who doesn’t want their 18 year old child to leave home… it never releases the oxygen to the muscles and organs that need it.
- This lack of oxygen delivery to our muscles and organs creates an internal environment in our body that is deficient in oxygen. Low levels of oxygen in our body is known as hypoxia.
Nasal breathing promotes an increase in oxygen delivery to our tissues. What are some of the benefits of this you ask?
- Reduced breathlessness during exercise.
- Improved VO2 Max.
- Improved oxygenation of the heart.
- Reduced lactic acid and fatigue.
- Prevention of exercise induced asthma.
- An overall improvement in health and performance.
The benefits of nasal breathing and implications of mouth breathing are not limited to what was mentioned above. However, this should be enough to make you reconsider how you’re breathing.
Try this exercise out!
- Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth, not in contact with your front teeth. This creates an optimal tongue position by creating a seal to keep you from mouth breathing.
- Hold this position as you practice breathing through your nose!
Want to learn how to restore full expansion of your ribcage, power to your diaphragm, all while maximizing nasal breathing? We’ve got you covered. Reach out to us to learn more!