Saturday, April 27, 2013

Close Your Mouth and Save Your Life!

NASAL BREATHING -- breathing only through your NOSE (mouth shut). I'd never have guessed that this one simple change would be so BENEFICIAL!

BACKGROUND

I had the pleasure of hearing Carol Baglia, a respiratory therapist here in Cleveland, OH, introduce the topic of nose breathing, formally called Buteyko Method, several years ago as a speaker for Northeast Running Club.



which George Catlin wrote and illustrated in 1870 (it's about 100 pages long!).


I was re-intrigued recently, in Boston, about nose breathing.  Sam Gyde, triathlon rock star, from Belgium (has never run "a marathon" but qualified for Boston with a 2:53 marathon to round off his first place age group finish in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii!). Holy smokes!  Well, dear Sam, always breathes this way when he runs, and encourages athletes he coaches, to nose breathe for hour-long runs!


Ironman triathlete, Sam Gyde of Gent, Belgium,
swears by NOSE BREATHING for endurance exercise!
SO COOL!

Why do I LOVE it? Nose breathing is SIMPLE, non-invasive, improves health effectively, and reduces stress!


BENEFITS
        1. Improves immunity -- reduces allergies, toxins, infection.
        2. Reduces stress.
        3. Activates parasympathetic nervous system.
        4. Increases nitric oxide (not to be confused with nitrous oxide -- the one that makes you silly)
        5. Improves endurance performance.
        6. Brain gets more oxygen!
HOW DOES IT WORK?

Your nose is made to breathe! Your mouth is made to EAT and TALK! Unlike your mouth, your nose filters, moistens, and warms the air you breathe, making it IDEALLY ready for your lungs!

As fewer particles of pollen, other allergens, bacteria, and cancer-causing toxins pass this filter,  strong immunity from allergies, infection, and disease results.

Breathing through your nose, automatically controls the speed of your breath, so you can't breath too fast (otherwise known as hyperventilation!).

Breathing more slowly, gives more time between breaths, so we get more oxygen into our blood from the air in our lungs.

Heart rate and breathing rate increase together with exercise intensity. So with a lower rate of breathing, our heart beat and blood pressure will also be lower at any given intensity.

Nitric oxide (NO)!!! This is enough for a whole other huge post! NO helps to relax us, inside and out. NO is awesome for heart health! It even has mechanisms within our immune system; it helps our nerves communicate improving memory and brain function.  In fact, NO is key to healthy functioning of virtually all cells in the body! We're talking Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine in 1998!! Awesome stuff, and we activate it's production when we breathe through our noses!


OTHER RESOURCES

Local (Cleveland, OH area) Respiratory Therapist: provides lots of helpful info and even clinics!
A book from 1870! Shut Your Mouth and Save Your Life by George Catlin
Breathing Exercises
Nasal Breathing and Running: from No Meat Athlete and Healthy Living and Set Higher Standards
Buteyko Technique: 22 Reasons to breath through your nose

COMMENTS

Have you ever heard of this before? Perhaps at a yoga class? Or a stress-reduction seminar? Sesame Street? I have the coolest little clip to help kids with anger which teaches a bit about breathing :)

3 comments:

Colleen Grossner said...

Sam says two more benefits of exercising with your mouth closed are: not getting bugs in your mouth, and in hot/cold weather avoiding a sore throat. I have been noticing the latter already, just that my mouth is so nice and moist as I get into my run, and that is just during a one-mile run!

Colleen Grossner said...

And Sam's time in Kona was 2:56 (not 2:53) ...but come on, he was under 3 hours, and that was AFTER swimming over 2 miles, and biking more than 100!!! Amazing!

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