Last week I wrote about the top scientifically supported ways you can make yourself harder to kill…both in your daily life (get stronger, do more cardio and stay mobile) and by taking steps proven to reduce your risk of having negative complications from a communicable disease. If you missed it, you can read it in my blog article entitled, How to Be Harder to Kill
There was one strategy that I didn’t touch upon because it is definitely a little bit more on the alternative side but it has had a lot of research as of late and is gaining respect in the scientific community as becoming a highly effective, no cost modality, that can boost your immune system, make you more alkaline, lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress and reduce your inflammation.
It’s breathing. More specifically, breathing less.
It is something we do 25,000 times a day and yet most of us aren’t good at it. Especially when we are under stress or have anxiety.
An average person breathes 12-20 times in a minute, when in reality, the healthiest way to breathe is actually 5-6 times per minute. The slower we breathe, the deeper we breathe, the deeper we breathe, the more oxygen we actually absorb. In fact, when we breathe 20 x per minute we are only at 50% of our oxygen absorption capacity. If we slow it down to 12 x per minute, we increase that to 75%. Amazingly, if we slow that down again to 6 breaths per minute we can reach 85% efficiency!
So lesson #1, SLOW YOUR BREATH DOWN.
We also are notorious mouth breathers, and that is also not good for you. When we breathe through our nose, our air is filtered by the cilia and mucous membrane, trapping foreign particles such as viruses and limiting our exposure to foreign pathogens. But this isn’t the most important reason to breathe through our nose, one of the most important reasons for nasal breathing is related to the production of nitric oxide (NO) .
The nose produces nitric oxide, which, according to Patrick McKeown, a world renowned author and breathing practitioner, actually sterilizes the incoming air and improves your lungs ability to absorb oxygen. It also increases the ability to transport oxygen through your body, including your heart. It allows your blood vessels to dilate, hence lowering your blood pressure. Nitric oxide is also antifungal, antiviral, antiparisitic and antibacterial, helping your body fight infections.
Lesson #2: BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE.
This has only touched the surface about breathing as I have only talked about normal every day breathing and how it can affect your health in the most superficial way. There are also ways to breathe intentionally that have have been scientifically proven as ways to alkalize the body (bringing it from ph of 7.4 to 7.6), improve your immune response (potentially by stimulating catecholamine release), and raise your core body temperature. I will be touching upon this next week so stay tuned if you are curious!
If you have any interest in this topic I highly recommend the book Breath by James Nestor. It is incredible!
If you are interested in a personal coaching session on any of the above recommendations on how to be harder to kill; getting stronger, improving your cardio, enhancing your mobility or learning how to breathe properly let us know, we would be thrilled to assist you! Call or email today!