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In a fast-paced world, sometimes the best thing you can do is to breathe.
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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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The Real Power of Breathing

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The real power of breathing extends far beyond simply filling our lungs. Our bodies rely on our respiratory system for quite a lot, as all of our major bodily functions are ultimately connected. In fact, every single cell in our bodies relies on our respiratory health to work properly, as not a single organ can function without oxygen. From our heads down to our toes, the power of breathing affects it all.

Let’s take a closer look at the real power of breathing.

Brain Function

Your brain relies on a constant supply of oxygen to function properly.  So much so that it requires three times the amount of oxygen compared to your muscles. Brain cells can’t live for very long without oxygen and begin to die if left without it for too long.  Just four minutes without oxygen can cause permanent brain damage.

Smell and Taste

Our respiratory health also affects our sense of smell and taste. When our respiratory health is compromised, for example by the common cold or flu, our sinuses get clogged and our nasal cavities are affected. A common side effect of impaired sinus function is the decrease in our ability to properly smell and taste. This is usually temporary and resolves as we recover from sickness.

The Ability to Speak

That’s right, our respiratory system affects our ability to speak properly. The larynx, a vital part of our respiratory system, is often referred to as our “voice box.” This is because it’s responsible for the vibration of our vocal cords and the ability to produce sound. If our larynx doesn’t function properly, we lose the ability to vocally communicate with others.

Full Body Movement

Every muscle in your body depends on oxygen to produce energy, enabling you to walk, run, and lift your arms. Even facial muscles, that enable you to smile or frown, depend on oxygen to work. When your respiratory system fails, so does your ability to move.

When your muscles lack oxygen they become stiff, ceasing to work properly. You may notice this during a particularly intense workout and need to stop to take a breather so your oxygen levels can increase again.

Maintaining Respiratory Health

The real power of breath, which affects our entire body, comes down to maintaining your respiratory health. We all get sick from time to time, and coming down with an occasional cold is no need to worry.  In order to maintain optimal respiratory health, there are several steps that you can take. These include:

  • Not smoking
  • Avoid areas with high air pollution and heeding air quality advisories in your area
  • Have your home tested for levels of carbon monoxide and radon, which impede breathing
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Take steps to prevent illness, by washing your hands and avoiding others who are sick whenever possible

Our bodies and minds both depend on the power of breathing, and we cannot exist otherwise.  Protecting your respiratory system, and strengthening it through breathing exercises and cardio will maximize your body’s use of oxygen, leading to a healthier, happy life.

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GR8NESS expert Debbie Ryan
Debbie Ryan
Expert Reviewer
Oxygen at the cellular level is critical, not only to brain health but to every organ in our body.
Matt
GR8NESS Writer
Matt is a GR8NESS contributing writer on such subjects as pets, CBD, pain relief, sexual health, time management, and family & parenting. When he's not placed in the awkward position of referring to himself in the third person, Matt tries to keep two Dachshunds, an 18-year old daughter, and one wife blissfully happy but not necessarily in that order.
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