8 reasons you should practice nasal inhalation when exercising and resting
Nasal inhalations drive oxygen more efficiently into the lower lobes of the lungs. The lower lobes of the lungs have more parasympathetic, calming and repairing nerve receptors. The upper lobes have more sympathetic (fight or flight) stress receptors that are activated during mouth breathing exercise.
The lower lobes of the lungs are also gravity fed, and thus have more blood. Therefore, they have the ability to per-fuse more waste (CO2) out of the body. The reason we blow excessively during exercise is because we are not removing the CO2 as efficiently as we could be. Nose breathing maximizes this action.
Breathing into the lower lobes exercises the diaphragm at the base of the lungs, making us more efficient deep breathers. Freeing the diaphragm to contract and relax fully massages the stomach situated just below the diaphragm, allowing for more efficient metabolic stomach function.
Nasal inhalations forces the entire rib cage to breathe, engaging all 12 ribs to act as levers that massage the heart and lungs. Rib cage activation acts as a pump to pull lymph fluid from the lower parts of the body up into the chest cavity and to the heart supporting healthy and active lymphatic flow.
Nose breathing exercise has been shown to increase the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is an important cellular signaling molecule in the body which has a hand in many favourable physiological processes, including expanding blood vessels, increasing blood flow, and protecting the organs from damage.
Nose breathing lowered heart rate and breath rate compared to mouth breathing exercise.
Nose breathing exercise increased alpha brain wave activity compared to mouth breathing exercise. Alpha brain waves are produced during relaxation or meditative states. Mouth breathing exercise produces a significant amount of beta brain waves that are associated with a stress response.