If you remember anything about high school biology hopefully the word Mitochondria still rings a bell. If it does, then the phrase “The Powerhouse of the Cell!” likely just popped into your brain too.
The mitochondria are indeed powerhouses, meaning they create the energy which fuels all of our cells and their activities. Mitochondria are found in the cells of essentially every animal, insect, or organism that uses oxygen to create energy.
These little guys take in oxygen and use it to break down glucose (think sugar) to create energy powering every single activity your body does throughout the day. Its important to understand what is going on in your cells because what we think of when we discuss breathing is really just the beginning and end of the process. In between the inhale and exhale is where the real important magic happens.
This is when the oxygen we breathe in is used to create the energy for life and carbon dioxide is released as a bi-product of this process eventually making its way back out in the exhale. If you think about it from a different perspective our entire biology around breathing is there just to get oxygen to the mitochondria. Our lungs and diaphragm exists solely to collect oxygen to feed the mitochondria and then take care of their carbon dioxide emissions.
What’s amazing is that the health and total number of mitochondria is not static. Not only can we train to get more oxygen to them, but we can take measures to actually increase the number of mitochondria and their health. More strong mitochondria means more energy!
Here Are a Few Ways You Can Build More Resilient Mitochondria:
- Endurance workouts
- Foam rolling
- Interval sprint workouts
- Breath holds
Remember more and stronger mitochondria the better energy production the more our cells are able to run efficiently and effectively