On Day Two of the 2020 Global Wellness Summit (GWS) hybrid event, author James Nestor presented a keynote about the health benefits of breathing properly. Nestor, best-selling author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, talked about our breathing habits and noted that it's how we breathe that can greatly factor into overall health, happiness and lifespan.
He presented delegates with the following quick habits to breathe better for better health:
1. Breathe through your nose
Not only does this increase oxygenation, but it protects the body from pathogens by filtering the air (thanks to cilia in the nose). Nestor also noted that mouth breathing alone can cause a number of health concerns, such as respiratory issues and infections, poor memory, sleep apnea and even hypertension.
2. Breathe slow and steady
Breathing in for about five to six seconds, then out for about five to six seconds is proven to calm the mind and body. In fact, it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure while increasing oxygenation. This is a good exercise for easing anxiety and even asthma symptoms.
3. Breathe less
Nestor pointed out that breathing often and fast actually uses up a lot of energy, and can overexert the body overt time.
4. Be aware of your breath
Consciously taking control of your breathing can achieve the benefits listed above, impacting larger systems like circulation and heart rate, and therefore immunity and overall health.