So have you ever stopped to think about how this bodily function actually works? Before exploring the techniques that can help you improve your breathing naturally, it’s beneficial to understand how and why we breathe.
How does breathing work?
Breathing is an amazingly complex process, but one that we don’t often think about – we do it automatically after all. Your brain constantly gets signals from your body, which determine the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. The muscles then begin the process of respiration, adjusting the rate of your breath depending on how active you are.
Sometimes you’ll need to control your breathing, for example when singing or partaking in exercise. And occasionally, your breathing will become impaired, such as when you are suffering from the common cold or allergies. When this happens, you’ll be much more aware of your breathing, and realise how much you take normal respiratory function for granted.
What happens to the air we breathe?
Although you can breathe through your mouth, our bodies were designed to breathe through the nose, nature’s most miraculous filter. It is lined with tiny hairs called cilia, which act to clean, humidify, warm and cool the air before it enters the lungs. These tiny hairs also protect your body from particles of foreign matter.
After passing through the nose, air continues down the mucus-lined windpipe, which also traps any unwanted particles. Next, it enters the lungs, where oxygen is pumped into the blood stream, before circulating oxygen around the body. In the reverse process, air containing waste material known as carbon dioxide exits your body via exhalation of the lungs.
Natural ways to strengthen your breathing
With respiration such an important bodily function, it’s only natural to want it to work as efficiently as possible. So if you’ve ever wondered how to improve your breathing, you’re not alone. It’s something many people start to think about as they get older – perhaps because lung function and lung capacity decrease gradually with age.
Having the common cold, flu, allergies or conditions such as asthma can also weaken lung capacity and temporarily impair your respiratory system. These things can lead to difficulty breathing, which decreases energy levels in the body – so no wonder you feel tired when suffering from these ailments.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to strengthen and improve your breathing naturally.
It’s easy to improve your breathing by making a few healthy lifestyle changes. Make exercise a priority, as it can help keep your respiratory system working optimally well into your senior years. Whether you choose a low impact workout such as walking, swimming or cycling, or a form of high intensity training, exercising will make your lungs work harder – which in turn will help them grow stronger. As you progress with your exercise regime, you’ll notice your day-to-day breathing becomes much easier.
2. Steam inhalation
When you are sick, your nasal passage and the lining of your sinuses can become inflamed, causing symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, runny nose and sore eyes. These things can make it difficult to breathe as you normally would. To reduce this inflammation naturally and quickly clear the nasal passage, try inhaling steam from a bowl of boiling water. Besides helping you breathe easier, inhaling warm, moist air can help soothe irritated tissues in your nose.
3. Try a nasal spray
If you’re suffering from the common cold or flu and your breathing is impaired as a result, PHYSIOMER® is a simple product that is clinically proven to help clear the path of your breath – naturally. Made using 100% seawater, our range of nasal cleansing products are gentle enough to be used by the whole family – including solutions specially made for babies’ sensitive noses. With its unique soothing and healing properties, PHYSIOMER® effectively tackles the symptoms linked to a cold, helping you breathe more easily. Adults can choose between two spray strengths, depending on the type and severity of nasal secretions, while we also have a special range tailored to younger children too.
4. Protect yourself against respiratory infections
In the winter months, your body is more susceptible to viruses which can affect your respiratory system. However, did you know that you can help protect your breathing with regular nasal irrigation? Cold viruses enter the body via the nose and mouth, often when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes near you. To help ward off such viruses when cold and flu season strikes, try flushing your nose regularly to rid it of viruses, pollutants and allergens. PHYSIOMER® is a natural, everyday solution to help protect yourself against infections before they have a chance to affect your breathing.