There are better ways to protect your heart, and it starts with your nose. Researchers are uncovering the link between nasal breathing and a healthier cardiovascular system. New research has revealed that the way you breathe—nose versus mouth—can have a measurable im-pact on your heart’s well-being. Surprisingly, a recent study, though small, suggests that nasal breathing might be better for heart health, influencing key indicators of cardiovascular wellness such as blood pressure.
The study reveals a fascinating link between our heart and lung health, showing that how we breathe can directly influence vital signs like blood pressure and heart rhythm. In contrast to mouth breathing, nasal respiration has been shown to decrease diastolic blood pressure and bolster the influence of the parasympathetic nervous system on the heart’s baseline rhythm. This highlights the potential health benefits of a more nasal-focused breathing approach.
In the course of this experiment, subjects were given a brief respite of five minutes and instructed to breathe as they would under normal, everyday conditions. At the end of the rest period, participants synchronized their breaths to a metronome beat for an additional interval. They administered this timed breathing through either the nasal passage or solely the mouth, with the latter facilitated by a gentle nose clip to ensure mouth-breathing exclusivity. Each breathing scenario was acutely observed with measurements taken regarding arterial pressure and the level of perceived physical strain by the subjects.
During the subsequent phase of the experiment, test subjects engaged in stationary cycling for seven-minute intervals. They adhered to a series of regulated breathing prompts: first breathing naturally, then synchronizing with a metronome through nasal passages, and eventually through oral exhalations alone. Participants took a brief rest of five to ten minutes before resuming cycling, wherein they cycled at their own pace as resistance was steadily increased. The research team observed intensifying pedaling effort every minute until participants could no longer pedal at 60 rpm.
The study found that participants who practiced nasal-only breathing experienced a decrease in mean blood pressure at rest. Interestingly, there was no significant change in systolic blood pressure. This suggests that nasal-only breathing may have beneficial effects on overall blood pressure regulation, even during physical activity.
According to research, breathing through the nose serves as a natural air conditioner. The nose processes the air we breathe in order to suit our body’s needs. It warms the air, filters it, and adds moisture to it. This ensures that the air we inhale is clean and properly regulated before entering our system.
Moreover, nasal breathing has been found to be more efficient in delivering oxygen to the heart. By harnessing the diaphragm and minimizing chest muscle use during nasal breathing, oxygen is delivered more effectively throughout the body. This can have significant impacts on overall health, as researchers have observed a reduction in effort and breathlessness in individuals who use nasal breathing compared to those who breathe through the mouth.
The ongoing debate over nasal versus mouth breathing has been a topic of interest for many years. Scientific evidence strongly supports the advantages of nasal breathing and emphasizes its importance for optimal health and functioning.
To view the original scientific study click below:
Acute nasal breathing lowers diastolic blood pressure and increases parasympathetic contributions to heart rate variability in young adults