I don’t listen to many podcasts.  Ours is one of them.  Yes, we are doing podcasts.  You can see some clips on our Facebook Fanpage.  One I do like is the Joe Rogan Experience.  I like the banter and the topics he discusses.

Recently, he had author James Nestor on his show.  Nestor was on to promote his book, Breath.

He had been researching the way we breathe for years and specifically with free divers.  These are the people that hold their breath for over 10 minutes and go to depths under water not humanly possible before.

His experience talking with them, got him more interested in the subject.  His conclusion was that most of don’t breathe right and it is making us unhealthy.  His research indicates that poor breathing has contributed to the following problems:

  • Poor teeth alignment.
  • Sleep apnea and snoring issues.
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • Nervous system out of whack

These are just problems that everyone has to deal with.  As far as athletes go, if you can learn to breathe better your performance will improve tremendously.  You can get in a state of readiness better and recover from performance more efficiently.

The more efficient your breathing is, the less energy you spend on breathing and the more that can be spent on the athletic activity at hand.

Track athletes have experimented with various breathing techniques to help them achieve success. The 1968 track team had a breathing coach to help with the high altitude in Mexico City, home of the summer Olympics that year. They won numerous golds and set multiple world records in the ’68 Olympics.

I highly suggest you read the book.  I’m going to be experimenting more with some of the breathing exercises with my athletes and myself.

To help you out, here are a few easy drills you can practice yourself to help with your breathing:

  • Breathe through your nose as much as you can. Mouth breathing is incrementally worse off for you.  Breathing through the nose has so many more health benefits for you.
  • If you have trouble breathing through your nose when you sleep, apply a piece of scotch tape to your mouth to keep it shut. Eventually, you will be able to sleep with your mouth closed and any snoring or sleep apnea you have will diminish.
  • The perfect breathing cycle is inhale through your nose for 5.5 seconds and then exhale through your nose for 5.5 seconds. Practice this daily.  A few times a day for several minutes a pop can really help you out.  I hold up a stopwatch to help me keep my timing better with the breathing.

Breathing is big in practices such as yoga or meditation and there is much merit to it.  There are so many more benefits of proper breathing that I can’t get into here, but suggest you look into it.  It could turn your life around.