Whole Health

Mindful Breathing

The purpose of inhaling air, breathing, is to deliver oxygen to cells in the body. The purpose of exhaling air is to further extract oxygen from the inhaled air, and to remove excess carbon dioxide (CO2).

Inhaling through either the nose or the mouth will bring air into the lungs.  However, oxygen is absorbed differently with nose breathing as opposed to mouth breathing. Other physiological differences occur, too.  Focusing on nose breathing helps to increase endurance, stamina and muscle memory.

Inhaling (air) through the nose is better than inhaling through the mouth. Also exhaling through the nose is better than exhaling through the mouth.  Absorption of oxygen occurs during both, on inhale and on exhale.

Exhaling through the nose causes resistance to airflow keeping the air in the lungs longer. This creates an opportunity for the lungs to extract and absorb more oxygen, perhaps up to 15% better absorption (of oxygen when exhaled through the nose).

When inhaling through the nose, air is warmed, filtered and humidified.  Also, the nose produces nitric oxide (in the sinuses), which is important because it:

  • improves lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen
  • increases body’s ability to transport oxygen
  • allows blood vessels to dilate
  • regulates blood pressure
  • boosts the immune system.

To help lower stress, pay attention to your breathing.  Mindful breathing can have a calming effect helping to:

  • boost mood and relaxation/calm
  • improve mental clarity.

Visit the website below for details on differing breathing techniques:


Nasal breathing generates physical benefits that are helpful for both, everyday living and during exercise. Breathe through the nose whenever possible to use oxygen as efficiently as possible.

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