An image of pink, healthy lungs.

What are common misconceptions about breathing? How does breathing help you perform physical activities better?

In a podcast hosted by Mel Robbins, breathing becomes a central topic when she brings on guest Patrick McKeown, who’s a renowned breathing expert. They both emphasize the significance of proper breathing for overall wellness. 

Find out The Mel Robbins Podcast’s benefits of proper breathing to see why you should pay attention to it more.

Misconceptions About Breathing

In a conversation with Patrick McKeown and Mel Robbins, breathing takes center stage as the focus of their conversation. McKeown counters the misconception held by Mel Robbins that breathing should be a vertical activity. He enlightens her on the complexity of the process, explaining that proper breathing involves more horizontal movement—the expansion and contraction of the lower rib cage, rather than solely focusing on the belly’s movements.

He discourages concentrating on the belly as it often leads to improper practice, not promoting correct breathing. McKeown also discusses the importance of subtle, nose-oriented breathing, debunking other misconceptions about proper breathing techniques. 

He also throws light on the harmful impacts of over-breathing, blocking effective oxygen distribution in the body due to subsequent carbon dioxide loss, leading to blood vessel narrowing and oxygen retention by red blood cells.

Benefits of Nasal Breathing

Throughout the podcast, McKeown speaks to the enriching health benefits of nasal breathing as opposed to breathing through the mouth. 

He bases his assertion on Swift’s 1988 research which showed a noticeable enhancement in oxygen uptake in our blood when we breathe through the nose.

Role of Breathing in Physical Activities

McKeown underlines how nasal breathing, especially during physical activities, can increase the level of carbon dioxide in our bloodstream. This allows for efficient distribution of oxygen to muscles, organs, and various body tissues. 

Such physiological benefits are backed by McKeown’s expertise. This is highlighted by the specific techniques he uses with athletes. These include exercises involving breath-holding and sprint-free running. These are aimed at putting the body and mind under stress.

More on Proper Breathing

Proper breathing is a fundamental aspect of our overall wellness, yet it is often overlooked or misunderstood. In a recent podcast, the importance of proper breathing was discussed, shedding light on the misconceptions surrounding breathing and highlighting the benefits of nasal breathing. To fully grasp the significance of proper breathing, it is essential to understand some background knowledge. Mouth-breathing, for instance, refers to breathing through the mouth instead of the nose. This practice can lead to various health issues and hinder optimal oxygen intake. Another misconception is vertical breathing, which focuses solely on belly movements during respiration rather than considering the expansion and contraction of the lower rib cage.

The podcast emphasized that nasal breathing plays a crucial role in maintaining emotional equilibrium and mitigating stress. Nasal breathing allows for efficient filtration and humidification of air before it reaches our lungs, promoting better oxygenation and reducing potential irritants or allergens from entering our respiratory system. Additionally, nasal breaths help regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in our bodies—a gas produced by metabolism—ensuring proper pH balance in our bloodstream.

Patrick McKeown & Mel Robbins on Breathing’s Role in Health

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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