Super-Charge Your Cardio With Nose Breathing


5 years ago



Laird Hamilton

1 appearance

Laird Hamilton is a big-wave surfer, co-inventor of tow-in surfing, and co-founder, with his wife Gabrielle Reece, of XPT Training (Extreme Performance Training).


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You were explaining nose breathing to me out there. Yeah. How nose breathing is better? Better for you. Because of... Well, first of all, you were designed to breathe. Your sinuses and your nose were designed for breathing. And so you actually emit a gas in your sinuses. From my understanding, a gas called nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator, helps you absorb oxygen. You're breathing through your nose. Plus, you reduce the amount of intake that you have and that gets you CO2 tolerant. So all of a sudden, you're breathing less volume. I mean, you know from the fight game, as soon as a guy goes to mouth breathing, you're like, he's toast. You know that, right? That's your first giveaway. Yeah. So your ability to deal with stress and breathe through your nose. I mean, everybody should be breathing through their nose, in their sleep, walking around. Somehow, we became mouth breathers in the last 200 years and they're not sure why. There's a great book called The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick MacGool that he actually is on our board of XPT. But he kind of realized that our issues really stem from mouth breathing, chronic mouth breathing, which is scrubbing our CO2 and keeping our CO2 levels down, which is the marker to absorb oxygen. So when your CO2 levels are down, you don't absorb the oxygen from your bloodstream. The cells don't take it as soon as the CO2 goes up, then the body starts to pull it out of the blood. Interesting. So smaller amounts by breathing through the nose actually makes you absorb more oxygen. Well, it keeps your tolerance. Keeps your tolerance. Yeah. But definitely, get your CO2 tolerant up, but the smaller volume helps your body become more tolerant of higher levels of CO2. But the sinuses themselves emit a gas that helps the lung absorb the oxygen. And that's what I've been led to understand. I had a broken nose until I was 40. My nose was useless. I couldn't get anything out of it. It had been broken like, who knows how many times? Yeah. And the inside was all caked up with scar tissue and calcified. And when I got it fixed, it was like the world changed. It was like, I couldn't do that. I just couldn't breathe out of my nose. I would go to yoga class, they'd tell me to breathe out of my nose. I'm like, I don't have one. I could smell farts. Yeah. That's it. I could smell gas and gasoline. Like, it has to be rough for me to smell it. But now, I have a real nose. I always encourage people, if you have a broken nose, please get that deviated septum fixed. Well, it's surprising if you start to nose breathe, even if you have struggle because of that gas helps you open up. A lot of people, I mean, I'm not saying that you have that, but a lot of people actually will gain volume after a few weeks of forcing themselves to nose breathe. They'll actually start to open up all of that system. That actually makes sense. So, it's- Your body would just adapt and try to figure out a way. It forces it to open, but yeah, it's all about nose breathing. Wow. I didn't think, I just thought it was just more difficult, so it's probably a good thing to do for discipline. Absolutely. And if you can do your cardio and retain a nose breath, you have another gear. Sometimes when you go to mouth, it's like having a blower in your car or something. You open up the air and it's a whole new game. So, by being able to sustain a high output with nose breathing, and like I said, it's all about the tolerance for CO2. It's how much CO2 you can handle in your system. That's why altitude screws people up because the CO2 jacks up and they don't have a tolerance and then you get all wonky and you feel like crap.