Increasing evidence is now beginning to point towards the benefits of nostril breathing for improved performance, health and emotional well being
Buddhist and Hindu culture has focused on the importance of breath work to benefit both the mind and health. But it is only in recent years, with the popularity of the Wim Hof method in particular, that attention in the West has turned towards how we breathe and the impact on every aspect of our health and performance in running and triathlon.
Five Benefits of Nostril Breathing
Boosts mental well being
According to studies by Dr John Douillard, author Mind, Body and Sport, nostril breathing helps to boost the parasympathetic nervous system by 50% compared to breathing through the mouth. This helps to decrease respiration and heart rate and increases digestion.
It encourages more efficient removal of carbon dioxide
The lower part of the lungs are gravity fed, meaning that more blood flows to the lower part of the lungs. Result? More efficient removal of carbon dioxide. And the better our body is at this, the better we are can increase our oxygen capacity both for our health and performance.
Promotes better posture
Improved lung capacity with nostril breathing means that we are using our rib cage more effectively. In turn, this means we are using more muscles in this area, helping to achieve optimal flexibility and elasticity of the spine.
Improves endurance and recovery
Numerous studies, including this St Joseph’s College New York has shown that using nostril breathing, can improve recovery times and promotes greater endurance.
Increases your body’s hydration system
According to a study by Sophie Svensson et al breathing through the mouth causes a loss of 40% more water from the body that nostril breathing.