According to nutritionist and athlete Nina Gelbke Read more
And its life changing effects
By Leah Simmons
Breathing. One of the few things in our day that we actually don’t have to think about. It happens (thank goodness) without much interference from us. Just like our heart beating or our eyes blinking, breathing is an involuntary action, so you’d be forgiven for thinking we couldn’t do anything to improve upon what our body instinctively already does.
But breathing correctly can have huge benefits for our overall health. Modern science is showing us that making even the smallest adjustments to the way we breathe can drastically improve athletic ability, lower blood pressure, increase cellular function, prevent snoring and alleviate allergies, autoimmune disorders and even asthma. And it doesn’t have to leave you gasping for air!
As James Nestor says in his excellent 2020 book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, “Breathing is like rowing a boat. Taking a zillion short and stilted strokes will get you where you’re going, but they pale in comparison to the efficiency and speed of fewer, longer strokes.”
Being mindful of the length, the width and the depth of each breath can improve not only your athletic ability but can bring focus, clarity and calm into your every day.
Breathing through your nose not only regulates your intake of oxygen and release of carbon dioxide, breaths that come via the sinuses stimulate the release of a large dose of nitric oxide — a gas that increases circulation and boosts your immune system. And being mindful of breathing through your nose even when exerting yourself (i.e. during exercise) can further encourage your body to work more efficiently.
Like anything, the more you do it, the better you get. Consistently taking the time to focus on how you breathe is going to go a long way in improving your health overall. You will begin to feel clearer, sharper and more focused. Your sleep will improve and you will have more energy than you will know what to do with.
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