One of The Simplest Breathing Tips On How To Wear A Mask
Masks are going to be the norm for awhile.
Hey, if that’s what it takes to save lives, resume sports, school, and business activity, then I’m in. Remember, It is what it is = nothing good has happened.
However, there can be some breathing issues when wearing a mask. Breathing has now become more important than ever because, we are now made more aware of it.
It can get hot under those masks, glasses fog up, we feel the need to “catch our breath” and we even can start to hyperventilate.
Since wearing it is so new, here are the most important tips on how to wear a mask.
- Breathe through your nose
Mouth breathing is not natural, yet 25-50% of us do it. Mostly, we mouth breathe while exercising, but for some folks, it is also at night.
The myth is that the more air we breathe, the more air we get. However, in reality, almost 75% of the oxygen we breathe in, we let out as well. We simply breathe too much. Mouth breathing makes it harder to offload the oxygen to the muscles and organs it needs.
Once a mask goes over our mouth and nose, there may be a natural fear response of not getting enough oxygen. Thus, it’s a natural reaction to try and breathe through the mouth to take in more oxygen. Although, the need to breathe is not dictated by the need for oxygen but actually the need for increased carbon dioxide. CO2 gets a bad rap, like the rat. However…
Carbon dioxide is not just waste or a byproduct– you need a balance of both, carbon dioxide and oxygen.
The nose is the first line of defense against viruses, bacteria, and other junk.
The nose helps slow down our breathing and produces nitric oxide which plays an essential role in filtering and humidifying the air so the oxygen is absorbed better. One also gets almost 25% more oxygen when breathing through the nose compared to the mouth.
So, why don’t we do it? Because, we’ve simply never been taught.
2. Practice breath work
I started breathing only through my nose on long runs. It is the best ever. It is much more controlled and I can get in the zone and rhythm more easily.
Now, it is much harder for me to only breath through my nose during intense workout sessions though, which is why it takes practice. It takes more practice to breath effectively while a mask is on as well.
Here are your practice tips on how to wear a mask by focusing on nasal breathing.
Download our audio breathing script.
We utilize rectangle breathing to maximize our patterns and this audio will guide you through it. It is perfect to practice during your transitions in life and/or to make it part of your everyday routine.
What we want to do with ease, we must first do with diligence.
Give your new breathing a few weeks and let us know how your breathing with the mask has improved. Just these two tips on how to wear a mask by learning how to breathe more effectively and efficiently will result in major improvements.
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes and is based in Indianapolis. Some clients have included three winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.
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