Welcome to SportPort Active, where we're all about unlocking the secrets to an active and healthy lifestyle! Today, we're delving into an exciting topic that's gaining traction in the health and fitness community - nasal breathing. You may be wondering what makes this breathing technique so special, and how it can influence your brain function and overall well-being. Buckle up as we take you on a journey through the wonders of nasal breathing, supported by science and experts in the field.
What is Nasal Breathing?
Nasal breathing simply means inhaling and exhaling through your nose, rather than your mouth. It's a natural and fundamental way of breathing that humans have practiced for centuries. However, with the advent of modern living and high-intensity workouts, mouth breathing has become more prevalent.
Let's take a look at why scientists are enthusiastic about bringing nasal breathing back into the spotlight.
Improved Oxygen Saturation
When you breathe through your nose, the air gets filtered, moistened, and warmed before it reaches your lungs. The nasal passages are lined with tiny hair-like structures called cilia, which help trap dust, allergens, and pathogens. As a result, the air you breathe is cleaner and better suited for efficient oxygen exchange, ensuring your brain and body receive the oxygen they need.
Enhanced Nitric Oxide Production
One of the exciting benefits of nasal breathing is the increased production of nitric oxide (NO) in your sinuses. Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator, meaning it widens blood vessels, allowing for improved blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout your body. This increased blood flow can positively impact your cardiovascular health, exercise performance, and even cognitive function.
Brain Boosting Power
Now, let's dive into why scientists are particularly excited about nasal breathing and its effects on brain function. Research has shown that nasal breathing can have a significant impact on brain health:
- Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Nasal breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety levels. This can lead to better focus and mental clarity during both daily activities and intense workouts.
- Enhanced Cognitive Function: A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience demonstrated that nasal breathing increases electrical activity in the brain's olfactory bulb, which is linked to memory, emotion, and cognition. By harnessing the power of nasal breathing, you can potentially boost your cognitive abilities and mental sharpness.
- Better Sleep Quality: Nasal breathing is associated with improved sleep quality, ensuring your brain gets the rest it needs for optimal performance. Adequate sleep enhances memory consolidation, learning, and creativity, making it an essential factor in achieving peak cognitive function.
- Increased CO2 Tolerance: Contrary to popular belief, carbon dioxide (CO2) is not just a waste gas. It plays a crucial role in regulating blood pH and oxygen delivery to tissues. Nasal breathing helps maintain a healthy CO2 balance, improving your body's CO2 tolerance over time. This can lead to better endurance, reduced breathlessness during physical activities, and improved athletic performance.
Support From Experts
Leading experts in the fields of neuroscience and sports physiology have extensively studied and supported the benefits of nasal breathing:
- Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University emphasizes the connection between nasal breathing and increased focus, cognitive performance and overall well-being. Huberman Lab is the highest ranking health podcast in America! The podcasts can run over four hours and d deep into complex science concepts. We, at SportPort Active, highly recommends that you check out Huberman Lab podcasts: How to Breathe Healthier
- Patrick McKeown, is an author of a many leading books, such as, Close Your Mouth , and, The Oxygen Advantage. He’s also an expert in the Buteyko breathing method, has extensively researched the impact of nasal breathing on athletic performance and optimal health. McKeoen also has podcasts for guided breathing techniques: Why We Breath,and Oxygen Advantage
Practical Tips for Nasal Breathing
Incorporating nasal breathing into your daily life and fitness routine is easier than you might think.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
- Mindful Breathing: Practice mindful breathing techniques to improve your health and focus on this throughout the day to become more aware of your breathing patterns. Make a conscious effort to switch to nasal breathing when you catch yourself mouth breathing.
- Nasal Strips: If you experience difficulty breathing through your nose, consider using nasal strips to help open your airways during sleep or physical activities.
- Breathing Exercises: Explore breathing exercises like the Buteyko method to train your body to embrace nasal breathing more naturally.
Nasal breathing is a powerful tool that can positively impact both your physical and mental well-being is important. By embracing this natural breathing technique, you can unlock a world of health benefits, including improved brain function, and reducing stress, and enhanced athletic performance. Let's bring nasal breathing back into the spotlight and breathe our way to a healthier, sharper, and more active lifestyle!
Join us tonight, July 27th, 8:30pm est., 5:30pm pst, with our special guest Cali Rossen, founder of Sacred Frequencies. She’s a sound bath healer, and also has a background in Pilates and yoga, which enhances her ability to understand healthy breathing techniques and stress releasers.
Remember to embrace nasal breathing, and let your body and brain thrive like never before!