During this time of dealing with COVID-19, we’ve been focused on respiratory health maybe a bit more than usual. There is a definitely a strong connection between how we breathe, our respiratory health and immune function. I wanted to share some fascinating information two simple things you can do to improve your immune function.
First of all here’s the primary connection between your respiratory system and immune function: your nose is your first line of defense in filtering out bacteria and viruses in the air! The cilia, tiny hair follicles in our nasal passages, filter the air we breathe and can block bacteria and dust from getting into our lungs.
Each of those little hairs sports a coating of mucus. As soon as bacteria or viruses are detected by those mucus coated hairs, immune cells are dispatched! Apparently this may be one reason why mouth-breathers catch colds frequently. The immune system is powerfully changed when you breathe through your nose.
Also, our sinuses release nitric oxide which is an immune influencing molecule. Besides interacting directly with viruses it is also known to lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and boost exercise performance. Breathing through your nose releases this important substance.
It is recommended that we breathe through our noses about 80% of the time. For some, it may be difficult or feel uncomfortable but it is worth paying attention to and attempting to increase. So this is the first step you can take: try to breathe through your nose more. You can strengthen your nasal breathing ability by intentionally doing so whenever you think about it.
The second thing I found fascinating was to hum while we breathe! While simply breathing through your nose releases nitric oxide, simply humming your favorite tune 3 or 4 times a day was found to increase nitric oxide 15-fold. Just that one, simple thing can improve and enhance your nasal function which in turn can improve your immune function.
If you find you breathe through your mouth more than your nose, are you willing to change that?
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So interesting! A woman. I know who is a yoga teacher has been touting all the benefits of nose breathing. She raves about taping her mouth when she sleeps. I’m a nose breather but I’ll definitely be paying more attention now!
I’ve heard of people doing that. I honestly don’t think I would be able to sleep if I did! Thankfully I am a nose breather.
Always learning my friend. Will be sharing this with my wife!
Thank you my friend.
thank you for the reminder!
Thank you for reading and commenting!
We are fearfully and wonderfully made! Thank you, Ann.
We certainly are Debbie!!
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Thank you for this fascinating post,
“hum while we breathe! While simply breathing through your nose releases nitric oxide”
So, does that mean that singing warm-ups are also immune boosters? 🙂
Anything that stimulates your vagus nerve will boost immune function so I would say yes!
Ah, makes sense, thank you!