Breathing is an unconscious and automatic act that we rarely pay attention to. However, it is an absolutely essential process for life. And, as in everything, some ways of doing it are better than others.
Have you ever stopped to look at the way you breathe? Each person has their own way of doing it. In fact, some people tend to breathe continuously through their mouths, while others only breathe in certain situations, such as straining or having a constipation.
Many scientists have studied the risks and benefits of breathing through the nose or mouth. Even today special breathing techniques are used for many purposes, since it has been shown that there are adequate ways of breathing for each situation, such as in childbirth.
If you have ever wondered what is the best way to breathe, in this article we explain why it is better to do it through the nose or through the mouth at certain times and on a regular basis.
How should we breathe?
Although many people tend to breathe continuously through the mouth, the truth is that the best way to do it is through the nose. Our nose has been changing throughout our evolution as a species. It has taken on a more vertical shape, with the nostrils facing downward.
These anatomical modifications have allowed the nose to fulfill certain functions when breathing. It is responsible for humidifying, heating and purifying the air we inhale. In this way, it acts as a natural defense against numerous pathogens that can make us sick.
Nasal breathing ensures that the air always reaches our lungs with the same temperature and humidity. That is, even if the climate is cold, the air reaches the lungs with optimal conditions to carry out the gas exchange process.
Also, babies are born innately breathing through their noses. It is important to look at this type of data as they guide us to what is the most physiological way to do it.
What changes does the breath undergo?
It is true that, throughout the day, our nose and breathing undergo certain changes. You may have noticed that, when standing or sitting, breathing through your nose is natural and easy for you.
However, when we lie down, nasal resistance increases. This means that it costs more than the air to enter correctly, so, sometimes, we tend to breathe through the mouth in this situation. Especially when we are constipated.
Problems breathing through the nose
We have already made it clear that the best way to breathe is to breathe through the nose, as this helps us keep our respiratory system healthy. However, there are certain situations in which this is complicated.
You can notice that there are people who, even if they are standing or sitting, tend to breathe with their mouth. It usually occurs in those who suffer from some type of respiratory disease. A good example is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Most people who smoke end up developing diseases like this one, in which the airways are gradually affected. The resistance to the air increases and, each time, it is more difficult for them to be able to maintain nasal breathing.
On the other hand, breathing through the mouth while we sleep is very common and can be very harmful for us. People who do often snore and have trouble sleeping.
When this happens, the sleep does not become deep. This causes that, the next day, we feel a headache, fatigue, bad mood, and so on. Breathing well during sleep is very important to be able to achieve a sufficient level of recovery.
So when is mouth breathing good?
It is important to note that there are situations in which breathing through the mouth can be beneficial. For example, when talking or exercising at a sufficient intensity.
When practicing an exercise, such as running, the ideal is to do a combined breath. This means that it is recommended to breathe in through the nose and expel the air through the mouth. Even if we increase the intensity of the exercise, it is normal that we breathe exclusively through the mouth.