Luscha Baumwald: You Are Probably Breathing Wrong. Fixing It Could Change Your Life.
You should be aware that breathing isn’t as straightforward as you think, according to a journalist who wrote a whole book on the subject.
We breathe in and out around 25,000 times a day and most of us don’t think about it at all. Getting air in and out of your lungs seems like the most straightforward activity imaginable. Our brain takes care of it without any effort from us, right?
Not according to the extensive research of journalist James Nestor. For his new book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, Nestor dug into everything from ancient Chinese breathing practices to modern scientific studies to how free divers teach themselves to hold their breath for five or more minutes at a time.
In the course of his investigations, he discovered breathing isn’t nearly as simple as many of us think. Half of us are chronic mouth breathers, which is linked to a greater likelihood of respiratory infections and poor sleep. A quarter of us “overbreathe,” taking more frequent breaths than is necessary, which activates the body’s stress response and negatively impacts our mental and physical health.
Training yourself to breathe more deeply can actually change your life, Nestor says.