Searching for instructions on how to breathe properly one generally comes across the following:

  • Breathe using the nose.
  • Breathe using the diaphragm.

Yet I have never seen these claims with reliable sources. They are generally found with other claims that aim towards relieving stress, but this ones I take for granted since I can test them out on my own. (E.g: breathing rhytmically; taking large breaths.)

I understand that the nose would be more useful than the mouth due to the fact that mucus is a defense mecanism against unwanted parasites, yet I don't understand why it is preferred if the mouth can accumulate more air in less time. (Or at least it seems like that.)

So, are these two claims truly healthier?

Do they apply while doing heavy exercise like running?




(Can´t post any more links yet due to low reputation.)

  • If you post the links in the comments, I or one of the other able users will edit the links into your question.
    – user19679
    Dec 20, 2015 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


just a short answer, since no-one has responded yet:


Except from deepening your breath by expanding the volume of the lungs down towards the belly,

the diaphragm is also involved in non-respiratory functions, helping to expel vomit, feces, and urine from the body by increasing intra-abdominal pressure, and preventing acid reflux by exerting pressure on the esophagus as it passes through the esophageal hiatus.

From wikipedia.

But this is only one aspect of many more, others are

  • posture -> since the diaphragm inserts at the lower ribs and the vertebrae it influences the way you spine is aligned
  • lung volume -> when the diaphragm contracts during inhalation, it expands downwards and gives way to the lungs to expand as well. thus you have a bigger volume and can breath in more air.
  • slower breathing -> the more air you breath in, the slower you breath, this may lead to a relaxation during stress situations.

Nasal breathing

It is often considered superior to mouth breathing[6][7] for several reasons. Air travels to and from the external environment and the lungs through the nasal passages, as opposed to the mouth. The nasal passages do a better job of filtering the air as it enters the lungs. In addition, the smaller diameter of the nasal passages creates pressure in the lungs during exhalation, allowing the lungs to have more time to extract oxygen from them. When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly, as in mouth breathing, oxygen absorption decreases. Nasal breathing is especially important in certain situations such as dehydration, cold weather, laryngitis, and when the throat is sore or dry because it does not dry the throat as much.

From wikipedia as well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.