One of the most basic requirements for an effective exercise session is good oxygenation of your muscles and organs. You can actually control how well your tissues are being oxygenated by how you breathe.

But if you’re like most people, you take your breathing for granted. After all, it’s so automatic! You may not realize that there is an optimal way to breathe to increase body oxygenation and improve your health. There is a chance you may be doing it the wrong way without even realizing it.

While breathing is a fundamentally natural function of human beings, it can be negatively infl uenced by many factors of modern living such as stress, sitting at a desk all day, and excessive talking. In fact, about 80 percent of the Western population breathes incorrectly.

Mouth and nose breathing differ dramatically in terms of the depth of your breath, how the air is “prepared,” and the effects they produce in your body. The first step to attaining optimal breathing is to breathe through your nose, not through your mouth.

Nasal breathing has a number of physiological advantages for your health AND your fitness. The amount of benefit you derive from your exercise efforts is largely controlled by your breathing habits, which affect your performance, endurance, post-exercise energy levels, and even your ability to metabolize fat.1

Most people overbreathe – in other words, they chronically hyperventilate. Typical characteristics of overbreathing include mouth breathing, upper chest breathing, sighing, noticeable breathing during rest, and taking large breaths prior to talking. Overbreathing during exercise can have a number of harmful consequences. The way to prevent this is to “retrain” your nose to do the job it was designed to do, which is what this article will cover.

Do You Know How To Breathe?, 12/28/13

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