LUNG FITNESS Episode1: Your nose is amazing – USE IT!

If you don’t use your nose to breathe through but find you are a mouth breather instead, my job in the blog is to convince you to use your AMAZING nose, if you can.

Here are some facts about the nose you may not know:

  • It has more than 30 functions
  • It can detect 10,000 smells
  • It works very hard – if you use it! You take about 20,000 breaths/day and move 7,000 litres of air through it before it gets to your lungs.
  • When you breathe in through your nose here’s what happens:
    • It warms the air up
    • It humidifies the air
    • It filters microbes – more about that later.
  • When you breathe out of your nose it:
    • helps with heat retention
    • helps with water retention
  • When you use it some positive things happen to you:
    • Oxygen concentration in your arterial blood increases 8-10%
    • Something called your “functional residual volume increases by 13%
    • This means your lungs function better and the oxygenation of your body’s tissues improves – not a bad thing!
  • Using your nose to breathe helps you relax all because it makes breathing out easier – more about that in the next blog.
  • Something really very cool happens in your sinuses which are part of your nose. They produce an interesting gas called nitric oxide. No, it’s not laughing gas which is nitrous oxide but it’s a gas that helps to sterilise the incoming air which may protect against bacterial and viral infections.
  • And here’s something interesting, humming improves the delivery of nitric oxide (NO) from your sinuses so get humming like a siren or hum some of your favourite tunes. NO also helps oxygen transfer and enables better blood flow through the lungs.
  • It’s mucous lining helps to trap nasty microbes called pathogens.
  • It has a well known role in your general immune defence so now’s a great time to use it.
  • DO: use your nose, hum, whenever possible practice relaxed nasal diaphragmatic breathing – more about that later too.
  • DON’T: mouth breathe, smoke

Remember, to function well your nose needs to be used – It’s a super clever design and it’s all yours.

Katrina Milicich – physiotherapist and Bradcliff Breathing Pattern Training Practitioner.