Dr. Bell's Blog

Could The Way You Breathe Be Impacting Your Health?

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Breathing is one of the few bodily functions that is both voluntary and involuntary. Your body will naturally breathe on its own, but we can also change the rate at which it happens, or the method, voluntarily. That being said, the way we breathe sends messages to our body that can affect our mood, blood pressure, stress level, and even our immune system. Let’s explore a few ways you may be breathing incorrectly, how to correct it, and what impact this can have on your overall health.

Nose Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing….which is best?

The answer is quite simple. Nose breathing. Let’s dive in a little deeper though at some of the reasons why. Breathing is incredibly important as it supplies your body with a vital supply of oxygen and removes carbon dioxide. Nose breathing helps to ensure this process happens with efficiency, where as mouth breathing tends to promote hyperventilation, which actually decreases tissue oxygenation.

How Does This Impact Your Health?

Nose Breathing:

  • Helps in the maintenance of normal body temperature.

  • Aids in the fight against infections.

  • Improves lung volume and provides better blood flow.

  • Improves brain function.

Mouth Breathing:

  • Elevates heart rate and blood pressure.

  • Can cause poor posture.

  • Causes poor oral hygiene.

  • Is associated with bronchial and exercise induced asthma.

The way we breathe can become a habit, and for some that is not a good thing. Research has shown that breathing less is actually a sign of good health. Yes, I said less. Many people over breathe which can lead to a depletion of our CO2 reserves. Breathing less, and more lightly, is the general recommendation. For example, normal breathing volume is between 4-7 liters of air per minute. In asthmatics that number increases to 10-15 liters of air per minute. You will notice that when you make the shift to nose breathing, breathing less will just come automatically.

Seemingly insignificant changes, like in the way we breathe, can actually have a big impact on our health. The main objective is always to make ourselves a little better and a little healthier every day. None of us will ever reach perfection, but we should strive to get closer and closer to that point with the end result being a life where we can all…

LIVE well. BE well.