Every living thing needs air to survive. But most of us aren’t breathing in a manner that’s good for us.
Most of us breathe in and out all day without giving it much thought. Yet research shows that being more aware of your breathing may profoundly affect your state of mind and physical health.
When we breathe slowly (through the nose), our parasympathetic nervous system activates and tells our body that everything is well. However, the sympathetic nervous system is alerted by rapid, shallow breathing (mouth breathing), and the body prepares to fight, flight, or freeze.
Training ourselves to breathe more consciously and gently may improve our health and well-being. Slow, deep breathing—which increases lung capacity—is actually the most important predictor of the lifespan of any factor studied, including food, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. Yeah, you read that right.
Effects of nose vs mouth breathing
Research from 2017 compared nose breathing to mouth breathing while exercising. The researchers discovered that breathing through the nose during anaerobic activity reduced hyperventilating likelihood.
Additionally, they discovered that nose breathing results in the release of nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator (a gas that expands your blood vessels so oxygen can travel to where it’s needed most) and boosts exercise performance.
It has been suggested that mouth breathing impairs cognitive performance. While researchers in another investigation discovered that nose inhalation increased neural activity—additionally, this kind of breathing strengthened connections between various brain parts.
Researchers could not find any evidence of these mental advantages from mouth breathing. They concluded that nose breathing is far superior not only at present, but also for long term health and wellness.
How can nose breathing improve your health?
Reduces exposure to external chemicals that get trapped in the nasal cavity and removed when you blow your nose
Breathing in air through your nose humidifies and warms the air, making it better suited for your lungs to absorb
Nose breathing improves blood flow to the heart, lungs, and nervous system because nitric oxide is created in the sinus cavity
Improves blood flow and oxygen intake
Pauses and deepen your breaths for optimal oxygen absorption
Maximizes lung function by allowing the body to use all five lobes of the lungs
Improves diaphragmatic strength
Helps your immune system improve
Can completely eliminate snoring and sleep apnea dangers
Encourages healthy tooth and oral development.
Compared to mouth breathing, nose breathing has actual health benefits. It doesn’t just keep you alive. It actually helps your body in drastic ways. When you breathe using your nose, the air is filtered to remove dust and allergens, your oxygen intake is increased, and humidity is added.
However, breathing through your mouth may lead to painful dryness. You may exacerbate inflammation of the gums and the potential for poor breath. Some studies suggest that breathing through the mouth might increase your risk of developing asthma, allergies, and chronic cough.
Do exercises such as belly breathing, alternate nostril breathing, and Breath of Fire to train your body to breathe more efficiently through the nose. These techniques might help you learn how to breathe through your nose while improving your lung function and lowering your stress level.