Take a deep breath…

 

Feel that?  That’s oxygen!

Oxygen is not a true vitamin, but absolutely essential to the function of the body.  About 21% of the total gasses in our beautiful air is oxygen.   The rest is mostly nitrogen and a few other gasses mixed in to make our bodies thrive in our environment.  Air acts as an insulator for the earth, but in the body, air – specifically OXYGEN, is needed to produce energy.

 

This “energy” is used by every single cell in our body.

 

Breathing (called respiration), simply explained, is the process of breathing in oxygen (O2) and breathing out carbon dioxide (CO2).  The body uses oxygen to burn glucose (sugars) and fatty acids that in turn give us “energy” to function.  As we breathe, oxygen goes directly into our blood through the blood vessels, and our red blood cells carry this oxygen throughout the body to be used for every cell in our body to live.  Iron is necessary to help the red blood cells transport the oxygen around the body, which is why someone might experience fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy and even more serious symptoms such as nausea, rapid heart rate, coughing, rapid breathing, redness or cyanosis (blue colour of the skin) dizziness, headache and paleness.  Adequate iron levels are essential for optimum oxygenation in the body.

 

What’s the Hyp on low Oxygen?

 

Low blood oxygen is called hypoxemia.  Low oxygen in your cells is called hypoxia.  These are 2 different things as one is in the blood and one is actually in the tissues.  Either is bad for us.  While they don’t always occur together, they are both very dangerous to our cells and organs.  Symptoms of low oxygen can occur in a very short time, mere minutes even, of lowered oxygen levels in the body.   The brain, heart and liver are specifically susceptible to damage from low oxygen.  Many symptoms of diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and airway obstructions including symptoms of sleep apnea, and even poor posture can all cause low oxygen levels. Adult breathing ranges from about 10-20 breaths per minute, but if you’re up around 20, you’ll want to get that down.  Ideally, we should breathe less quick… taking deeper breaths and expanding the diaphragm and ribs to allow the muscles in this area to relax.  Breathing “fresh air” helps our airways to open up (dilate) and this acts as a cleansing for your lungs.

 

90% of our “energy” that we use comes from breathing.  If our oxygen is not optimal, we can begin to experience symptoms like those listed above and cells can begin to struggle to survive.   Normally, our O2 levels should be about 95%-100%, with levels going below 88% becoming serious, and below 80% becoming dangerous for the brain, heart and lungs.

 

Breathe FREE and feed a Tree…

When we breathe deeply, the oxygen gets way inside the deeper levels of our lower lungs, into tiny sacs called alveoli in the lungs.  Here, there is an exchange of gasses (oxygen and carbon dioxide) and as we breathe in O2, we breathe out the CO2 which the body must get rid of as it is a waste product of respiration.  We are not supposed to breathe carbon dioxide as it can cause the pH of the body to lower and result in acidosis.  Acidosis is not good… think of your lungs and kidneys being too acidic to function normally, lowering the blood pressure and possibly resulting in metabolic shock.  When we breathe out carbon dioxide, we also breathe out this waste, along with any possible airborne wastes that we may come in contact with.  Breathing deeply and freely cleans your lungs.

 

If we breathe in CO2, we can experience symptoms of tingling, high blood pressure, sweating, breathing difficulties, restlessness, panic, convulsions and more serious symptoms like coma.   PLANTS and trees on the other hand, rather like our respired carbon dioxide and in turn use it as energy for their own growth and development.

So breathe deep and feed a tree…

 

HYDRATE to Breathe…

We need lots of water to oxygenate and eliminate the CO2 from our lungs.  Dehydration is common, but easy to remedy.  Water, coconut water, teas (hot or chilled) are all excellent hydration.  Keeping optimum hydration is key to oxygenation as well as preventing acidosis.

 

 

Move it!

A fresh nutritional diet of vegetables, fruits, plenty of water and going outside and breathing fresh air is excellent to improve your oxygen levels.  Walking, running, biking, soccer, dance, and swimming, yoga and stretching exercises, tai chi and martial arts are all excellent ways to get plenty of oxygen.   Taking the opportunity to be conscious of your breathing, aiming to breathe deeply and freely, will help improve the toning and cleansing action of your lungs to help you stay healthy and energetic.

 

We BREATHE to Live!    Now go outside…

 

Erin-Michelle