We need oxygen to live. But how much? How does this work exactly?
Oxygen enters the body through the lungs via breathing. The inhaled air is about 20% oxygen, but only about 5% of that is actually consumed in each breath and converted to carbon dioxide.
The oxygen is then transported by our red blood cells to the entire body and used to produce energy. Once the red blood cells return to the lungs, the carbon dioxide is exhaled. Basic science, right? You probably learned all this in high school.
But did you know that your body is designed to release upwards of 70% of its toxins through breathing (MSF, 2016)? This is one of the many reasons why exercise is so important. A person whose diet is right and is exercising regularly obviously uses a lot more oxygen and breathes deeper and more often. Hence, their bodies are getting rid of more toxins, and their energy levels are increased.
The great news is that you do not have to go to the gym to achieve the same results when it comes to this process. Simply taking some time out of the day to enjoy some outdoor, deep, full breaths can have an amazing impact on your overall well-being. Doing this for at least 15 minutes a day brings many benefits. If you do deep-breathing exercises in the sun, you will get a double benefit of both oxygen and vitamin D3. Or, do what I do and integrate deep breathing exercises into your workout program during the day.
Want a nice little boost or a little help? It is known that the bicarbonate component of Baking Soda is highly alkaline and is used in your body as a buffer to maintain pH balance and optimal function. A quote often seen when researching this element is Annelie Pompe’s quote, a world-champion free diver. Annelie states that alkaline tissues can hold up to 20 times more oxygen than acidic ones.
It is true, and from personal experience (and you can ask any real athlete about this), taking sodium bicarbonate orally before a workout or event actually raises the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, and performance is enhanced considerably. The point is that we need oxygen in the blood, and we need alkaline tissue to receive that oxygen better.
There may not be much to this article, and that is because I should not have to sell you on the benefits of breathing. However, I think it is important to remind people about the benefits of “mindful breathing.” Take some time for slow, deliberate, full breaths. Deep in, deep out. Deep in, deep out. If you think this is silly, then understand that even WebMD has taken the time to suggest that the way you breathe affects your whole body. They, too, recommend full, deep breathing as a good way to reduce tension, feel relaxed, and reduce stress (WebMD, 2016). Of course, reducing tension and stress is also great for the immune system, which can help you achieve better health. You simply cannot go wrong.
- Learn More: 10 Breathing Techniques for Stress Relief and More
- Amazon Product: Natural Breathing Lung Expansion & Exerciser
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This article was originally published as a chapter in the book Natural Health Made Easy: The Briobiotic Protocol (2016)
This article was written from a Health Science perspective. Dr. Robertson is a health researcher and educator, not a physician. The information provided here is not medical advice, a professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or service to you or any other individual. The information provided is for educational and anecdotal purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation, or the advice of your physician or other healthcare providers. Dr. Robertson is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or additional information, services, or product you obtain or utilize. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN.