“Shut your mouth” usually sounds like a rude thing to say to someone. But trust me, I’m doing it out of care!
In our last post, we discussed how important nasal breathing is to the response of your immune system. Here we are going to give you a few tips to practice during this odd time in order to make breathing through your nose a lot easier.
Often the reason we want to mouth breathe is because it’s easiest to exhale large amounts air that way. To combat that desire we want teach our body to quell the desire to exhale so much. Here are some ways to do just that:
Swallow Your Sighs
If you find that you take big sighs throughout your day as you walk around, try two things. First, stop before you actually let go of that big exhale and attempt to breathe normal. Or, second, after you sigh hold your breath until you feel moderate discomfort and then begin breathing normally again.
Mini Breath Holds
Try this either first thing in the morning or while out for a walk. Breathing only through your nose, take 3 normal breaths, exhale, and then hold your breath until you feel moderate desire for air. Take another 3 breaths and repeat. When you breathe in after the hold you should not need to take a huge gasping inhale. If you do, you held your breath for too long. Repeat this process 3-4 times and you should feel the desire to mouth breathe diminish.
The above practice also works great to open your sinuses, especially when your nose feels stopped up even in the absence of mucus.
Exercising with Your Mouth Closed
For most of us as soon as we begin to perform anything resembling exercise we think we need to open our mouths. Not so. With the workouts we are programming online for you, you should be able to keep your mouth closed the entire time. (Don’t think so? Watch the videos our athletes are posting on Social Media. No one wants to be a Mouth Breather at our gym!) Attempt to keep your mouth closed while you workout and then keeping it closed during the rest of the day will seem like a cinch. Note: you will not be able to push the workout like you could before until you get some practice and that is okay. Your surefire CrossFit games bid is likely delayed anyways…..Let your breath dictate your intensity.
Taping Your Mouth While You Sleep
This one sounds the weirdest, I know!! But think about it. If you spend all day trying to breathe through your nose and then at night turn into Uncle Eddie the snoring mouth breather are you really getting anywhere? It just turns into 2 steps forward 1 step back..maybe. Check out these mouth taping strips if you are nervous to try. They have a slit that pops apart to let you mouth breathe if you feel the need to. I call that function “freak out mode,” but you won’t need it once you’re fast asleep.
These practices are all super simple and easy to add in to your daily life. Pick one to start with and build a new habit by implementing it at the same time every day. As you tack on more nasal breathing habits, you will feel a greater difference. If interested in following our immune-system-endorsed, at-home workouts, head to here and let’s chat!