Imagine yourself exercising, running, hiking, dancing, picking weights or mere walking with maximum intensity and full energy. Pause. Ask yourself – are your breathing from your nose or mouth? Most exercisers breathe through their mouth, especially as the intensity of the exercise increases. However, experts are learning that breathing through the mouth may not be as efficient or effective as breathing through the nose.
Our nose is built to support our respiratory system as oppose to the mouth which starts the digestive process. The efficacy of nasal breathing for athletes as it allows more oxygen to pass through to the active tissues of the body. Breathing from the mouth during high endurance training or exercise causes more carbon dioxide offload, which leads to less oxygen supply in the blood. A study conducted with runners found out that the ratio of oxygen intake increased much more and decreased carbon dioxide out put through nasal breathing. Read the findings of Jae Burman from The Washington Post about nasal breathing improving athletic performance.