The concept of nasal (nose) breathing is becoming more & more mainstream as people are starting to discover the array of health benefits that come along with it, both physically and mentally.
Interestingly, there are many reasons to breathe through the nose, instead of the mouth, some of them being:
– Reduced anxiety & stress
– Improved blood circulation
– Better brain function
– Increased lung capacity and function (fitness)
– Improved sleep quality
and nasal breathing also helps to improve the health of your respiratory system by:
– Clearing mucus and bacteria from your airways
– Reducing inflammation in your airways
– Moistening and warming the air you breathe in
– Filtering out particulates from the air you breathe in
All of these benefits can lead to improved overall health and well-being, especially If you suffer from a respiratory condition, such as asthma or allergies.
If you’re searching for a personal trainer in St Kilda, then you’re already well aware that there’s plenty of car traffic, pollution and hay fever inducing allergens in this area. All the more reason to use your very own, portable, and natural air filter – your nose! 😉
Nose Breathing, Stress & anxiety.
One study found that participants who breathed through their nose had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who breathed through their mouth.
The researchers believe that this is because nose breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and digest functions, while mouth breathing activates the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for fight or flight responses.
Excess cortisol can lead to weight gain, muscle loss, and irritability which isn’t going to help anyone!
But did you know that nasal breathing can also help with weight loss?
When you breathe through your nose, your body is able to better regulate your blood sugar levels. This is because when you breathe through your mouth, you tend to take in more air than you need. This causes your blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leading to cravings and overeating.
Nose breathing also helps to control hunger hormones, like ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for making you feel hungry and causing cravings. So by controlling ghrelin, nasal breathing can help to reduce the amount of food you eat and help you lose weight. We already mentioned the stress hormone Cortisol, and it just so happens that this will encourage fat storage (particularly around the belly) and muscle waste.
In addition, nose breathing leads to deeper and more efficient breathing, meaning that your body is able to get more oxygen and you are less likely to feel out of breath.
This is important because when you are overweight, your body often doesn’t get enough oxygen, which can lead to fatigue and a lack of energy.
By getting more oxygen, nose breathing can help to increase your energy levels and make it easier for you to exercise, which of course is essential for overall health and any weight loss endeavours.
There are a few things you can do to encourage nasal breathing.
First, try to avoid mouth breathing as much as possible. If you find yourself mouth breathing, consciously try to switch back to nasal breathing. This can feel uncomfortable and frustrating at first, but just like anything, stick with it and it gets easier.
Secondly, practice some simple breathing exercises every day. For example, try inhaling through your nose for a count of four, and exhaling (through your nose) for a count of eight. Basic exercises like this will help train your body to breathe more efficiently both at rest and during exercise.
Finally, make sure you are not congested, by using a neti pot or nasal spray to clear out any blocked nasal passages. This can make nasal breathing unnecessarily difficult for some people.
If you are not used to nasal breathing, it may take some practice to get used to it, and it may be uncomfortable & frustrating at first, however, it is worth the effort to make the switch from mouth breathing to nasal breathing.
Your body and brain will thank you!