SMP 105: Take My Breath Away

 In Podcast, Uncategorized

Today’s guest is Patrick McKeown who has authored several books including his latest book, “The Oxygen Advantage”. Patrick is the Director of Education and Training at the Buteyko Clinic. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. Patrick suffered from Asthma and tried many ways to treat it. He had success with the Buteyko Method and he began working on different breathing techniques and developed The Oxygen Advantage program. Patrick is an expert on how to breath. Something we all need to do.

Patrick stumbled across breathing work by accident because of his breathing difficulties as a child. He read an article about Dr. Buteyko working with Russian Cosmonauts. When he started trying some of the breathing exercises, it completely changed his life. Then he went on to dive deeper into nose breathing and breathing lighter and how it affects asthma and other issues. He is passionate about breathing and feels there is too much misleading information about breathing. He says the effect of breathing from one way to another is what we should be talking about. Taking deep breaths reduces oxygen delivered to the cells. The harder you breathe the less oxygen is utilized. Light breathing through the nose is optimal.

Today’s topics include:

  • There is so much misleading information about breathing.
  • Taking deep breaths reduces oxygen delivered to the cells
  • If heavy breathing makes you feel lightheaded, there must be an optimal way to breathe
  • With breathing less is more, light breathing is better
  • The human nose is responsible for thirty functions in the body
  • When we breathe through the nose we carry nitric oxide into the lungs and it sterilizes the incoming air
  • Nitric oxide also enhances our oxygen uptake
  • Breathing through the nose, light breathing, and breath holding
  • Lowering oxygen saturation simulates high altitude training
  • We can change our breathing by slowing it down
  • Under breathe until you have an air shortage, this improves your breathing and makes it lighter
  • How we breathe during childhood affects our breathing and athletic performance as adults
  • Nose breathing is better than mouth breathing
  • Environmental factors may be creating mouth breathers
  • Our ancestors had wide arches and were nose breathers
  • Stuffy noses and sinuses also have an effect on breathing and mouth and nose breathing
  • You can decongest your nose by holding your breath
  • The harder we breathe the more the blood holds on to oxygen
  • Improve and make breathing efficient for less breathlessness
  • Aerobic breath holding for sprinters to lower oxygen saturation
  • When the body is hypoxic it produces more red blood cells and more EPO is released
  • Breathing exercises can force the body to make adaptations
  • Workout the diaphragm, breath in, breath out, and hold
  • Exhale and hold are the main part of the exercises
  • Airflow restrictive masks – recreating altitude training – don’t actual work to simulate high altitude
  • Nose breathing creates more breathing load, the mask pulls carbon dioxide into the lungs, which could help reset breathing center, to tolerate more carbon dioxide, if you can tolerate more, your breathlessness could decrease
  • Wear a pulse oximeter to see if it simulates high altitude training
  • The brain determines how hard and fast we can push our bodies
  • Start observing your breathing, don’t take it for granted

Links and resources:

The Oxygen Advantage

The Oxygen Advantage Website

Patrick Mckeown facebook

Buteyko Clinic


“The lighter you breathe the better oxygen delivery throughout the body.” Patrick McKeown

“Nose breathing is vitally important not just for sports performance, but for productivity, concentration, and overall mood” Patrick McKeown

“The nose determines the amount of oxygen that is taken up through the blood and delivered to the cells” Patrick McKeown

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