Are You Breathing the Best Way For Your Health?

Breathing can affect everything from stress to metabolism

Breathing can have an impact on your health.
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There are plenty of things that we can do each day to address our health. Some of these things can take a handful of seconds; others might involve spending hours engaged in a specific task or exercise. One of the most modest actions that can have an impact on your body is one of the most ubiquitous we engage in: breathing. And as it turns out, being more cognizant of the way you breath can pay significant dividends going forward.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science suggests that certain types of breathing exercises can change your metabolism, for one thing. “Diaphragm breathing exercise could influence resting metabolic rate, but feedback breathing exercise could not,” the study’s authors wrote.

That’s not the only benefit of diaphragm breathing, either — the Cleveland Clinic has pointed to the ability of diaphragm breathing to help people dealing with stress and asthma, among other conditions.

What’s the best way to breathe? A recent New York Times article offers a few tips on breathing your way to better health. This includes alternating inhalation and exhalation between nostrils and establishing a rhythm of breathing, holding the air in and exhaling, each in four-second increments.

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Some of the experts that the Times spoke with also argued that controlled breathing of almost any kind is a health benefit. “[W]ith any type of breath work exercise, we are forced to pay attention to our breath and our internal state,” Dr. Yilmaz Balban told the Times. And it’s through that kind of attention that we can easily become aware of what else we might need to work on.

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