Imagine you're exercising.
Your heart rate is high.
Your breathing is heavy.
If you're like most people, you're likely breathing through your mouth.
But did you know we consume more oxygen by breathing through the nose?
This is because the nose is built to support the respiratory system.
As James Nestor put it,
"Air that comes in through the nose is slowed down, filtered, humidified and it's conditioned, so by the time it gets to your lungs, your lungs can absorb that oxygen so much easier."
On top of that, when you breathe through your nose, blood vessels relax and dilate. This increases blood flow throughout your body, allowing more oxygen to be sent to your working muscles during exercise.
Unfortunately for the sake of exercise, the mouth is built to support the digestive system. By breathing through the mouth, we don't receive the same performance benefits.
Here's a quick breathing exercise you can try:
1) Close your mouth and relax the jaw and tongue.
2) Breathe in through your nose for 5 seconds.
3) Breathe out through your nose for 5 seconds.
Rinse and repeat. It's that simple.
But for those of us who are accustomed to breathing through our mouths, it isn't easy. So try this when you're sitting at home and when you're working out.
You might find it takes your breath away at the beginning.
But hey, I think we're all looking for a little more of that in our lives.