Breathe. We do it roughly 25,000 times a day, but until recently few of us gave much thought to this automatic bodily function. How we breathe affects us at a cellular level. Research shows changing the way we breathe can influence weight, athletic performance, allergies, asthma, snoring, mood, stress, focus and so much more.
Shut your mouth.
About half of us are chronic mouth breathers, a practice that can irritate the lungs, increase the risk of respiratory infection and sap the body of moisture, and has been linked to bad breath, sleep apnea and other health conditions. Breathing in and out of the nose filters, heats and treats the air. It helps us takes fuller, deeper breaths. It also allows us to absorb more oxygen and raises the intake of nitric oxide, a molecule that opens the blood vessels, which increases circulation and allows oxygen, blood and nutrients to travel to every part of the body. Immune function, weight, mood and sexual function are all influenced by nitric oxide. For the nearly 40 percent of people who suffer from chronic nasal obstruction because of allergies, sinusitis, a deviated septum or any of the other many causes, shutting the mouth can be a challenge.