Functional For Life Blog

The functional benefits of correct breathing

On average as human beings we breathe approximately 14,000 times per day.  We can last days with food or water however we can only last 30 seconds to a few minutes without oxygen before we are in serious trouble! Normal breathing is said to currently be 15 breaths per minute. When we are sick or stressed our breathing rate can increase to up to 20+ breathes per minute.

The respiratory system brings oxygen into the body and removes carbon dioxide. It includes the nose, trachea, and lungs. Oxygen is used at a cellular level to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which powers all of our daily movements.

The action of the diaphragm filling with air from a full-uninhibited breath on the ribs and T-spine allow them to work correctly and in conjunction with the pelvic region so that upper body movements are stabilized through the TVA and associated core muscles The rib cage can fully expand on a full breath and the thoracic spine can go into full extension as the ribcage elevates.

During the day, check in with yourself and your breathing patterns. Do you notice that you are a shallow chest breather or can you remember to create relaxation with deep abdominal respiration through the nose and then full exhalation? At night as you go to sleep, lie on your back with one hand on chest and abdomen and breathe feeling your stomach rise as you gently inhale.

Breathing is something most of us take for granted and because it is so seemingly basic and automatic it is easy to pass over to more exciting correctional strategies. Breathing is the most critical movement pattern in the treatment of spinal stability and musculoskeletal pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and even asthma.

Thanks for reading and for more tips on how to improve your health and fitness, check out our blog.


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