According to WebMD, at least 40 million Americans suffer from diseases that are related to respiratory issues, like COPD. As the Centers for Disease Control continues, almost 36% of American adults are struggling with obesity, leading directly to further problems with their breathing. Naturally, being unable to breathe, or breathe properly, is extremely dangerous to our health in more than one way.
Perhaps, then, it should not be surprising to find out that many of the problems that reduce our respiratory function can actually be treated by exercising and training our respiratory systems. As the science continues to evolve, it seems that breathing exercises are beneficial to those struggling with weight loss, asthma sufferers, and the millions of Americans who are finding it hard to sleep at night.
Breathing for Weight Loss
According to Harvard Health Publications, breathing for weight loss is becoming an exceptionally popular method for the overweight or obese looking to reach their goals. By looking to oxygenate the body through deep breathing exercises, such as those performed with a lung trainer, our cells become much more active. In effect, oxygen weight loss works by giving our cells the ability to burn more energy in a shorter period of time.
Breathing for Asthma
Statistics from the CDC show that 25 million Americans have asthma. Unfortunately, that number is growing every year. Recent studies have shown that people suffering from asthma actually have a faster resting breath rate than everyone else. The Buteyko breathing method teaches asthmatics to breathe shallowly and slowly through the nose when they are short of breath. However, as healthcentral.com points out, asthmatics would benefit overall by learning how to breathe with their diaphragm all the time, improving their health while cutting healthcare dollars.
Breathing for Insomnia
The National Sleep Foundation finds that 44% of Americans report occasional insomnia, with 22% experiencing sleep difficulties every night. One of the most common ways to fix sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea, is by using positive airway ventilation. However, if incorrectly prescribed to patients who have normal blood oxygen levels above 94%, this form of forced oxygen can cause brain damage.
Like weight loss and asthma, insomnia can actually be treated by learning how to improve your breathing. LiveStrong points out that by using the same methods we use for stress relief breathing, we can improve our sleep. Deep breathing exercises release seratonin, a crucial hormone associated with relaxation and restful sleep.
Learning to Breathe for Health
Almost half (45%) of women with sleep-disordered breathing develop mild dementia, versus the 31% among those who sleep normally. This is one reason why, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12.7% of American adults have used breathing for weight loss and other health purposes.
Whether you want to learn about breathing for weight loss, asthma, or insomnia, you should first consult your doctor. Once you have the all clear, you can learn how to breathe by practicing yoga or through the help of a respiratory trainer. Whatever you do, realize that learning to breathe properly may be the key to your health.