You might have had grandparents who encouraged you to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. They’d talk about how nose breathing can help you improve your overall health and other conditions. But is it true or just an age-old myth?
When you breathe through your nose instead of your mouth, you can improve your stamina. Nose breathing can boost your cardiovascular and sexual health as well. To make this a habit, you can try breathing through alternate nostrils. You can also try belly breathing and “breath of fire” exercises. These help you breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.
Breathing through your nose is practically as essential as the oxygen in the air around us. This article will delve into the types of breathing. We will also discuss the benefits of nose breathing and exercises that can help you make this a habit.
The Difference Between Nose Breathing & Mouth Breathing
The nose and mouth are the only two ways you can breathe. They take the air to your throat and then to your lungs. However, that is where the similarity ends.
- Nose Breathing
Your nose is structured in a manner that assists you in breathing efficiently and safely. The tiny hairs present in your nostrils prevents undesirable elements in the air from entering. This way, you only breathe clear, untainted air.
While breathing through your nose, the passage heats up and moisturizes the air. This ensures that the inhaled air is at the same temperature as your body when it reaches your lungs. Which allows your lungs to use it more easily.
Nose breathing can help release Nitric Oxide, which can widen your blood vessels. This helps improve the circulation of oxygen throughout your body.
- Mouth Breathing
The mouth is primarily designed for drinking, eating, and talking. While you can use it for breathing, it does not offer the benefits of nose breathing. Instead, when breathing through your mouth you may be subject to several side effects.
Breathing through your mouth, results in loss of moisture. It can lead to a dry mouth. It also increases the chances of asthma, bad breath, sleep apnea, snoring, gingivitis, and allergic reaction due to allergens.
However, in certain conditions, mouth breathing can be necessary. Perhaps you’re prone to nasal congestion. Or maybe you have smaller than average nostrils or a deviated septum. In these instances, you should breathe through your mouth.
Why Should You Breathe Through Your Nose Instead Of Your Mouth
Thousands of Americans have resorted to taping their mouth shut before they sleep. Mouth breathing could result in disturbed sleep and snoring. Breathing through your nose is essential, and here we’ll tell you why. Here is why nose breathing can be beneficial for you.
- Nose Breathing Improves Stamina
In 1995, scientists conducted different experiments and concluded that the nose produces nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a pretty important compound promoting cardiovascular, immune, and sexual health. And it is released through the nasal passages. When breathing via your nose, the nitric oxide will follow the path and reach your lungs.
Once it reaches the lungs, it is circulated throughout the bloodstream. The Nitric oxide helps to support the proper functioning of your blood vessels. It also affects your immunity and stamina. Nitric oxide widens the blood vessels and helps in a better oxygen flow. This improves your stamina over time.
- Nose Breathing Reduces the Risk of Colds
Your nose is the first defense against viruses and bacteria. The hair present inside your nasal passage, along with the mucous, helps trap pathogens. Nose breathing helps reduce the chances of colds.
The nose also helps warm up and add moisture to the air. This helps maintain your respiratory health and reduces the chances of catching a cold.
Nose Breathing Exercises You Should Try
Breathing exercises can help you get accustomed to nose breathing. These exercises help you release stress and anxiety and help improve your respiratory muscle strength. Here are a few nose breathing exercises you should try.
- Belly Breathing
Belly breathing is one of the most popular exercises when switching to nose breathing. It is also known as abdominal breathing. This encompasses taking measured, deep breaths through your nose.
While doing this exercise, the ultimate objective is to breathe in enough air to fill your lower abdomen with air. This aids in reducing your breathing and heart rates by increasing the oxygen you inhale. It, in turn, helps reduce stress.
Here is how you can get used to nose breathing through belly breathing.
- Start by sitting up straight or laying down on your bed without your pillow. Your spinal cord should be straight and your shoulders relaxed.
- Close your mouth firmly. Hold one of your hands against your chest and the other on your stomach area.
- Start inhaling gradually through your nose. You should feel the air filling up your belly fill while your chest remains still.
- Bring your lips together to form a rounded shape and exhale slowly.
- Repeat this exercise every day ten times.
- Breath of Fire
Breath of fire is another popular exercise that strengthens your respiratory muscles. It’s also referred to as the skull shining breath. This involves regular inhalations and quick, strong exhalations through your nose.
It helps improve respiratory function, concentration, and focus. Here is how you can get used to nose breathing through the breath of fire.
- Sit upright, keeping your spine absolutely straight, and relax your shoulders.
- Now place your hands on your belly. Alternatively, you can also put them on your knees. However, ensure that the palms of your hands are facing upwards.
- Now inhale deeply through your nose. Concentrate on your breath and feel it reach your belly. Let your lower abdomen expand with inhaled air.
- Immediately expel air forcefully through your nose, letting your belly move in. Avoid pausing between your inhale and exhale. Continue inhaling passively and letting out the air forcefully through your nose.
- Try keeping your inhales and exhales of the same length. Repeat this process to get used to the rhythm.
- Slowly speed up your inhales and exhales with time.
- Repeat the exercise for at least 30 seconds.
We breathe unintentionally and do not notice whether we use our mouth or nose. Nose breathing is quite essential to live a healthy and energetic life. It strengthens your immunity and respiratory muscles and keeps away cardiovascular diseases. This makes nose breathing highly beneficial.
Following the nose breathing exercises stipulated above should make breathing through your nose easier and more instinctual. And this will benefit your health.