Thursday, December 03, 2020

Training The Breath For Reserves

 Following on the heels of last week's article on the "four quarters of breathing" allow me to introduce you to my newest toy:  the Breather Fit, which allows you to add variable resistance to both the inhale and exhale.

Yes, it does look exactly like a crack pipe. 

Breather Fit

I haven't had a chance to play with the app yet.

So, why would we want to bother adding resistance to our breathing?

In one word: reserves.

Let's take a look at the graphic below, detailing lung volumes and which corroborates my premise that a full breath cycle should have four quarters.


Failure to maintain adequate reserves is the physiological equivalent to living paycheck to paycheck.  It's all good until you find yourself in a high demand state. We want to keep as much money in reserve as possible to cover those unexpected bills.

Our bodies are constantly adjusting to the signals it receives; if all they ever receive are weak signals, our bodies adapt towards weakness.

When's the last time you heard somebody complaining they had too much time in the day? Technology hasn't saved us any time in our day to day lives, but it has saved us energy.  It generally takes a lot less effort to complete tasks today than in the past, and that reduced effort translates into reduced signaling to the body to maintain vital adaptations like strength and mobility, or the ability to ventilate and meet our demands for oxygen.

In the 21st Century, if we don't apply deliberate effort to continuously expose ourselves to mechanical, molecular, and environmental stress, our reserves dwindle to the bare minimum necessary to support life in the narrow bandwidth of sitting indoors in central air and artificial lighting, leaving us unprepared for the unexpected and inevitable.