Nasal Breathing To Improve Endurance

Noses are designed for breathing. Only when in danger did our ancestors start to breathe through their mouth. When you breathe through your mouth, your fight-or-flight system kicks into gear, putting your body in a state of emergency. This is useful when getting chased by a lion but it’s less useful and possibly harmful at rest, when you’re asleep or during low-intensity exercise.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ One of the major roles nasal breathing plays in endurance is increasing nitric oxide release. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ “Nitric oxide plays an important role in vasoregulation (the opening and closing of blood vessels), homeostasis (the way in which the body maintains a state of stable physiological balance in order to stay alive), neurotransmission (the messaging system within the brain), immune defence, and respiration.” Patrick McKeown.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Nasal breathing also puts you in the aerobic training zone (somewhere between 120-150bpm) without the need for heart rate monitoring. By doing steady state work in this zone, you increase the size of your heart, allowing the heart to fill and deliver more blood per beat. After some training you will be able to push your heart rate higher with nasal only.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Beginning nasal only training can be humbling and somewhat uncomfortable. But after breaking through the first few weeks you’ll find it enjoyable and worthwhile. To start – practice doing low-intensity sessions such as walking, jogging or light cycling breathing through your nose. Drop the ego and slow down when you feel the urge to open your mouth. Practice it in the recovery periods during high-intensity work and after every session while cooling down. Practice nasal breathing throughout the day and while you sleep. You’ll find that you get a runny nose for the first couple of weeks when exercising like this but once your body gets used to this new style of breathing, it will no longer be a problem.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Nasal only breathing also helps endurance training by:⁣⁣⁣ - Filtering, warming and humidifying the air⁣⁣⁣ - Simulating high-altitude training⁣⁣⁣ - Using fat as preferred fuel source over carbs⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ But that’s for another day. #one22 #breath



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