A few thought-provoking facts about something we all do thousands of times a day: breathe.
- The average person breathes in the equivalent of 13 pints of air every minute and takes 17,000 breaths per day.
- “Breathing Air” is actually not a good description of what happens when we breathe. Air is made up of almost 79% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and small amounts of elements like helium, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen.
- Inhaled air is made up of 16% oxygen, 4% carbon dioxide, and the same 79% nitrogen. Our lungs swap around 4-5% oxygen for carbon dioxide.
- Our lungs exhale almost half a litre (0.42 L) of water every single day. Factor this number into your hydration requirements.
- Most people can hold their breath for a maximum of 1-2 minutes but in 2010 Stig Severinsen from Denmark held his breath during a free dive for 22 minutes. That’s the power of controlled breathing.
- The lungs are the biggest waste removal engine in the body, accounting for the removal of 70% of body waste in the form of carbon dioxide in the air we exhale.
- Psychologists have found that breathing practice is effective in fighting anxiety, depression, and stress. Physiological evidence has indicated that even a single breathing practice significantly reduces blood pressure.
- Mouth breathing can actually change your face. Researchers found differences in the facial developments of children that breath through their mouths compared to children that nose breathe.
- Your emotions change the way you breathe. Research has shown that our breathing pattern can influence the emotion we experience.