Obviously we know breathing is important … because you can’t live more than a few minutes without it. It’s such an automatic response that if you’re anything like me, you’ve never paid attention to how you breathe. When I went through the Optimize course, I learned that there’s a proper way to breathe … and I wanted to share it with you here because it’s an important (and easy) life upgrade to make for your health.
What Brian Johnson shared in the course is that only 30% of the toxins in your body are eliminated through sweat and going to the bathroom. The other 70% is eliminated when you exhale. I didn’t know that. These stats alone were really eye-opening to me. And I thought … if I can tweak the way I breathe, it would be a small hinge that swings the big door on my health.
While there are several health benefits to breathing through your nose like helping to keep your nostrils moisturized and helping with dental health … Brian focused on how breathing through your nose helps to oxygenate your blood more. When you breathe in and out through your mouth, this doesn’t happen as well.
Pay attention to how you breathe. You may be shocked at how much you breathe through your mouth, especially when you’re working out. Brian talks about how you should train yourself to breathe through your nose no matter what. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, but the health benefits are worth it.
I’ve been a mouth breather my whole life. Now that I’m aware of how important it is to breathe through my nose, I’ve been catching myself and correcting it. I’m trying to create a habit of breathing through my nose. I’m not there yet, but I’ve already seen the benefits.
For example, my Whoop strap tracks my blood oxygen levels and they are averaging higher now that I’m breathing through my nose more.
Here are ways you can improve your breathing:
1. Focus on Breathing Through Your Nose as Much as You Can
It will take time to get to the point where you can always breathe through your nose (if you ever fully get there). Brian talks about how hard it was to train himself to keep his mouth closed when he ran. I’ve experienced the same thing while I’m in Krav Maga class. It takes training and time for your diaphragm to get stronger in order to handle the strain of breathing through your nose when you’re out of breath.
2. Tape Your Mouth While You Sleep
This one may sound extreme, but they say taping your mouth to sleep can help you rest better … especially if you are prone to snoring. If you wake up with a dry mouth and nasty taste, you’re probably mouth breathing while you sleep. You can buy mouth tape that’s designed to keep your mouth shut while you sleep.
I bought mouth tape but am waiting to use it until I’ve mastered keeping my mouth shut during the day for the most part. Once I get to the point where I can breathe through my nose while I exercise, I’ll start taping my mouth at night.
3. Make Breathing Part of Your Morning Routine
As a result of taking the Optimize course, I made a change to my morning routine. I start with a 5 minute breathing exercise where I stand in a power pose and intentionally breathe through my nose. A power pose is just standing straight and tall with your shoulders back.
Standing in a power pose is also a great way to lower cortisol and increase testosterone. Doing this as part of my morning routine has been a nice little upgrade.
4. Make Time in the Day for Slowing Down and Breathing
Throughout the day, take a few minutes to stop and intentionally breathe through your nose. This practice helps you calm down, and could decrease any anxiety you’re feeling. Brian talks about how breathing through his nose has helped with his anxiety. Since I’ve dealt with anxiety too, I’m excited to continue down this breathing journey.
I hope this blog post brings to your attention the importance of changing the way you breathe. It’s such a small change, but one that can make make a positive impact on your health.
- Breathing is more important than you realize.
- Most of the toxins in your body are eliminated when you exhale.
- Make it a habit to always breathe through your nose, even when exercising and sleeping.
- Work a little bit every day to train yourself to breathe through your nose and less through your mouth.