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How nasal breathing combats oxidative stress and free radical damage?

breath training Apr 23, 2019

How can nasal breathing help combat oxidative stress and free radical damage?

Let’s first talk about the result of excess free radicals. Exercise increases free radicals in our body as a result of increased breathing and metabolism. “...which can lead to an imbalance in the production of free radicals and the antioxidants required to detoxify them, resulting in muscle weakness, fatigue, and overtraining.” - The Oxygen Advantage by Peter McKeown

To be an excellent athlete you need to be an expert in metabolism and metabolic stress from exercise.

You may have learned to reduce free radical damage by increasing dietary intake of antioxidants and even via drinking green tea.

What we haven’t spent a lot of time learning is that you can actually effect, prevent or reverse the oxidative stress that exercise produces by implementing a reduced breathing practice.

We need to become masters of managing air hunger. Air hunger is a feeling created by reducing breathing or pausing breathing long enough to reduce oxygen saturation and increase carbon dioxide tolerance.

Improving our tolerance to lower levels of oxygen will reduce acidity in the blood and reduce oxidative stress from exercise.

One of the most common and detrimental problems I see for people who are newly starting an exercise program, or even athletes during an intense training session or returning after an injury period, is they train with an intensity that is way too high for their current metabolic capabilities. This increases stress on the body and creates fatigue that further complicates the process of conditioning and recovering.

My favorite way to ensure that you are exercising within your metabolic capabilities is to institute a nasal breathing practice for all cardio. Nasal breathing acts as a barometer that ensures you are not doing more harm than good with your exercise program.

After all, this health and performance journey we are all on is about longevity. Let’s eliminate emergency workouts, overtraining, and under-recovering! #nasalbreathingnation

Be sure to follow our nasal breathing challenge on instagram @kruseelitewomen where I share daily cardio options along with education around metabolic training & condition and breath training. 

About the Author:

Alisha is a Personal Trainer and a Board Certified & Licensed Acupuncturist and is particularly passionate about combining Acupuncture and movement coaching to help young women through their pre and post natal journey, fertility challenges, menstrual irregularities, metabolic issues, thyroid problems, pain, asthma, and allergies.

In 2013, she co-founded KRUSE ELITE with partner, Taylor Kruse. Both are dedicated to inspiring people, coaches, and trainers into their best health and performance.

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GETTING STARTED WITH BRAIN-BASED TRAINING:

Practice FIVE Neuro-Performance Drills

Learn why respiration, vision, vestibular, and complex movement integrations are essential tools for every coach!