Breathing… Nose or mouth?
Is it better to breathe in through the nose or the mouth when exercising?
We all know the scenario, there’s so much conflicting information given to us we don’t know which way to go. Arthur’s way or Martha’s way.
As a lover of walking and an avid runner, reading on a popular running web site that breathing in and out through the mouth is the proper technique, caused some alarm bells to ring deep inside the pool of truth i bathe in.
i can guarantee you this.
This may be true for a mere minuscule percent of the human family for a minuscule amount of time that they breathe.
People who perform very quick bursts of acceleration over very short distances – e.g. one hundred metre sprinters. Certainly not the sort of information that is factual and pertinent, where 99.99% ad infinitum of the general public is concerned. And where the sprinters are concerned for that matter, when they’re not sprinting!
In the video below, i show you why it is important during any breathing exercise or just breathing in general for that matter that we breathe-in through the nose. The reasons are many and not limited to the air during its passage through the nose the air is warmed, moistened and filtered of harmful bacteria.
Also, the scroll-like turbinate bones (situated behind the nose) are covered with a mucous membrane, impregnated with blood vessels and mucous glands.
As the word “turbinate” implies, these bony plates act like turbines that cycle or churn the air as it passes through the nasal cavity.
Nasal health protocol
Expecting your body to perform consistently in our modern environment without filtering the air you breathe in, is leaving the door wide-open for trouble along the road.
The mucous membranes covering the turbinate bones create mucous so you can blow what the air-filtering system collects out, protecting your body from illness. The same bones and surrounding tissue helps stabilise and warm the temperature of the air you breathe-in thus the lungs ability to absorb the oxygen is improved.
The way it works is not rocket science, the way it was created to work – incredible, awesome; words cannot describe!
With shoulders Up, Back and Down and your thumbs pointing straight ahead.
Let me share with you another reason why breathing through the nose is a far superior way to go is anatomically built into the human system.
If it pleases you, have a go at this little exercise.
- Either standing or sitting, breathe-in through your nose and first pull the air down into the belly region (diaphragm) and then pull it up into your chest. Looking in the mirror your belly has flattened and your chest is full. Right?
- Now breathe out but this time on your next breath in, only breathe in through the mouth and try to repeat the same action of breathing in from the belly right up to the top of your chest.
As you will see, you cannot. You can first fill up the belly region but the lift stops just under your rib cage.
If you choose to use force to lift your breath up into your chest, you will also note that your shoulders also lift causing your shoulder blades (your wings) to retract in towards your spine thereby diminishing your rib cages ability to expand from front-to-back and side-to-side.
Maintaining the shoulders in the Up, Back and Down with an open and ever expanding chest willing to receive and release position just doesn’t work when breathing in through the mouth.
Motto of the story is to practice, even in the most stressful of times and the most beautiful, to focus on breathing in through your nose and breathe-out through your mouth if it is more comfortable.
Visualise the air around you as energy and know YOUR BREATH is ENERGY. Know your inhalation is an implosive energy and your exhalation explosive energy.
As always, stay conscious of your breath, eat lots of raw fruit and vegetables (especially the greens for the hydrogen and chlorophyll) and stay focused on your mission.
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