Take a deep breath. Was it through your nose or mouth? One is much more valuable than the other for optimum health – but do you know which? On average, we all take around 20,000 breaths a day, and here’s why we should try to make each breath count.
IF YOU BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE…
You are reducing your risk of colds.
Thanks to the microscopic hairs (cilia) inside your nose that work with mucus (and the lactoferrin inside that mucus) you are filtering the air and destroying invading pathogens. Your nose also warms and humidifies the air you inhale also reducing your risk of catching colds or sending a chill to your lungs on a wintry run.
You are supporting your immune system and heart health.
Your paranasal sinuses produce nitric oxide, which helps your lungs to absorb more oxygen from the air that you breathe, increases your body’s ability to circulate the oxygen around the body and heart, allows the blood vessels to dilate and supports the immune system in fighting infection.
You’re enhancing your endurance.
A study has shown that breathing through the nose during exercise decreases perceived exertion by 60% and reduces breathing rates by 50%.
You reduce your chances of air or food poisoning.
Your nose will let you know if there are harmful toxins in the air or on your plate.
Your facial muscles and bones develop correctly.
Especially important for growing children, when the mouth is closed the tongue is in the correct position to help the jaw grow properly and to allow the teeth to develop in a straight position.
IF YOU BREATHE THROUGH YOUR MOUTH…
You will find it harder to breathe through your nose.
Mouth-breathing can cause inflammation of the blood vessels in the nose, making it harder to breathe through the nose.
You will feel groggy in the morning.
If you’ve slept with your mouth open, you’ve spent 8 hours denying yourself nitric oxide uptake and all that good oxygenation!
You may have high blood pressure and suffer heart failure.
Again, this is a result of the low oxygen concentration in the blood.
You increase your chance of snoring, sleep apnea and interrupted sleep.
Quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption may help with mouth breathing at night.
You will have a dry mouth.
A dry mouth means less saliva (and lactoferrin in that saliva) to wash away and counteract bacteria in the mouth and excess oral acid. This can lead to bad breath, periodontal disease, throat and ear infections.
You are not filtering the air.
Whatever debris or toxins exist in the air – allergens, bacteria, viruses etc – is sent directly to your lungs.
The natural way to breathe is through our noses – that’s a nose’s function, and why we’re encouraged to breathe that way during exercise, meditation or relaxation. The only time we might consider breathing through our mouths is during strenuous exercise (when we need oxygen faster) or when our nasal passages are bunged up with a cold – another reason to support your immune system with Leapfrog IMMUNE and stop that cold at the first sign of a sniffle!
Note: If you routinely have difficulty breathing through your nose, please consult your healthcare professional or nasal breathing specialist.