Despite the large numbers of breaths we take, most of us are still not aware that we do not breathe optimally. Optimal breathing has a great influence on our health and well-being since it is directly linked to the oxygen level in our body.
In this post, we will give you insights into why oxygen is so important for us and five simple ways on how to get more oxygen.
Breathing uses chemical and mechanical processes to bring oxygen to every cell of the body and to get rid of carbon dioxide. Our body needs oxygen to obtain energy to fuel all our living processes.
Carbon dioxide is a waste product of that process. The respiratory system, with its conduction and respiratory zones, brings air from the environment to the lungs and facilitates gas exchange both in the lungs and within the cells.
Actually, 90% of all our energy comes from breath.
Cells then need oxygen to be able to break up the chemical bonds of food molecules such as sugars, carbohydrates, and proteins to release the energy they contain.
Just as every cell in our body needs energy, every one of them needs oxygen. Bringing oxygen to our cells and muscles is what makes us capable of performing physical activity.
Oxygen is the element that our cells need to create energy, to keep us going and to make us perform at higher levels.
Therefore, increased levels of oxygen help us perform better, giving energy to both our mind and body. If we lack oxygen we are not able to perform physically, and we will feel tired and experience fatigue.
There are a number of ways you can train your body to obtain greater amounts of oxygen. Cardio exercise is one of these, however, it is not enough to solely focus on exercise when seeking to increase the oxygen level.
We have listed 6 important ways to increase oxygen:
1. Get fresh air
Open your windows and go outside. Fresh air will provide you with energy and bring you additional amounts of oxygen to the lungs.
2. Drink water
In order to oxygenate and expel carbon dioxide, our lungs need to be hydrated and drinking enough water, therefore, influences oxygen levels. We lose on average about 400 milliliters of water per day.
3. Eat iron-rich foods
Certain foods can help improve the oxygen levels in your blood. Iron is a mineral needed for our red blood cells, the cells that transport blood around the body. That is why we can be tired and exhausted if we lack iron.
Great sources of iron-rich foods are green leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli, fruits such as apples, legumes, and lean proteins such as eggs, poultry, and fish.
The better we are at obtaining and utilizing oxygen, the more energy our cells are able to produce. Increased oxygen utilization will, therefore, strengthen our endurance.
There is a clear correlation between performance and the amount of oxygen we breathe in. This is measured in VO2 max, maximal oxygen uptake. The higher the VO2, the greater endurance. Interval and sprint training are the best training methods to increase the oxygen level.
5. Train your breathing
Exercise alone is not enough if you want to improve the quality of your breathing since training provides no guarantee that you are actually utilizing the capacity of your lungs and oxygen uptake. Breathing is, however, vital in order to increase our oxygen level.
Slow and deep breathing increases the level of oxygen in our blood. Oxygen is transported to the blood within the body through the respiratory system and that is why it influences your oxygen level if your breathing is not optimal.
For the same reason, many people and athletes experience a great difference, when they start to work on their breath through respiratory training. Breathing exercises not only strengthen our endurance it also helps to reduce our stress levels through focus and calmer breaths.
6. Get adjusted
Chiropractic adjustments help to properly aligning the body to maximize energy transfer, and the proper processing of signals throughout the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems. By properly aligning the spine, chiropractic helps to increase efficiency in nerve channels for the transfer of signals. Improper spinal alignment can also impinge upon the functioning of the lungs with inflation and deflation potentially being impacted. An improperly aligned spine can also restrict the diaphragm, which is another crucial element of circulating oxygen.