Those tiny little nose hairs you have are very good at filtering out any particles from the air you breathe but using your nose goes way beyond that. Nitric oxide is found in your nose, so when you breathe through your nose, you carry a small portion of the gas into your lungs which plays a significant role in homeostasis, or the maintaining of balance within your body. Nitric oxide is also:
· An antibacterial agent that helps neutralize germs and bacteria
· A vasodilator
· A significant bronchodilator
Your nasal passage passes right below your brain and there are tiny little sensors which access the humidity, temperature and composition of the air and the rest of the nasal passage prepares it for our very delicate lungs. If you breathe through your mouth you get none of this preparation.
You should also be trying to breathe out through your nose as well. This not only keeps the nasal passage moist and warm to help when you breathe in again, but also regulates the oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood far more efficiently than mouth breathing. Konstantine Buteyko, M.D. discovered that when carbon dioxide is held longer in the lungs, the alveoli would relax which would result in increased absorption of oxygen in the blood. His Breathing Technique – Buteyko encourages inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Dr. Buteyko claims that when there is sufficient carbon dioxide in the blood, the oxygen molecules will release more freely to all the cells of the body. This breathing technique can help with asthma, hypertensiom, allergies, hayfever, migraine, bronchitis, sleep apnea and even anxiety. Sounds good to me.
I have always been a mouth breather when exercising and I thought it would never change. When I found out just how important it is to use your nose I made a decision to really try and within a week I managed to go from breathing through my mouth on my early morning bike ride to using my nose correctly. It actually wasn’t as hard as I thought. One tip. Slow down your exercise to start with and only exercise to a level that you can maintain nose breathing.
Let me know how you get on in the comments box!