Stay healthy and fit during the Covid-19 pandemic
Many people today are afraid of being infected with the Covid-19 virus. This virus often attacks the lungs of a weakened person, which in severe cases can lead to life-threatening pneumonia. Many people are waiting for a vaccine but forget that we can do something right now to minimize our risk.
In fact, it is vital that we optimize our breathing and understand better how we can strengthen our lungs and our entire metabolism. In his pioneering book The Oxygen Avantage, Patrick McKeown describes exactly why breathing is so important and why we mostly breathe too much through our mouths and thereby deprive our bodies of the oxygen it needs to stay fit and healthy. In China, Taiwan, South Korea and Cambodia, all countries that have so managed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic relatively well, many people practice Qi Gong, a meditative, holistic form of movement that stimulates the whole metabolism, which is also based on targeted nasal breathing via the Diaphragm. The practice of Qi Gong can have a multitude of positive effects, the most common of which are the prevention and healing of illnesses, the strengthening of the constitution, the prevention of premature aging of the skin and the extension of your life. Today Qi Gong has become an integral part of Chinese culture. Anyone who travels to Taiwan and takes a walk through Taipei’s parks will see that Qi Gong is a mass movement there that is practiced by a large part of the population. This holistic worldview offers many advantages when dealing with infectious diseases like Covid-19. A virus doesn’t live, but it needs our cells to live. If these cells are strengthened through targeted self-optimization, then it is more difficult for the virus to take over the human cells and we will usually either not get sick at all, or the sickness will be mild.
To prevent infection by the virus, an effective immune defense is extremely important. However, this can only work effectively if our own metabolism is running at full speed. This in turn only works if it is stimulated by proper breathing.
So you should first know how effective your breathing is! Then conduct the Bolt Score Test yourself and you will quickly learn important information your own fitness level!
Take a position that is comfortable for you (leaning back or sitting on your back) and stay that way for at least five minutes before you start the test.
– Inhale gently through your nose and gently exhale through your nose
– After exhaling, gently cover your nose with your fingers and keep your mouth closed as well.
– Now count the seconds from exhaling, to the first impulse to wanting to breathe again (contraction of the abdominal muscles and swelling of the nostrils).
– This measured time is your score. Keep breathing relaxed after the test.
You now know your score and want to make yourself fitter and more resistant to Covid-19? Fortunately, it is actually quite easy to reduce the amount of mouth breathing that leads to oxygen loss. Simply take a small, gentle breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth with a small, gentle breath. Then hold your nose with two fingers while you gently nod your head up and down, then hold your breath as long as possible. Then let go of your nose to breathe through your nose again. Wait about 30 seconds to a minute, and then repeat the exercise.
Interestingly, in the cultures that had greater success in fighting the Covid Covid-19 pandemic, have a tradition of nasal breathing, in Japan the Samurai already knew that nasal breathing could give strength and in Tang dynasty China monks used nasal breathing for the meditation. So is it possible that these skills are still widespread today and make people there more resistant to the corona virus? If we breathe deeply into the abdomen or diaphragm through the nose and exhale longer through the nose, this leads to a 10 to 15 percent higher oxygen saturation of the blood compared to mouth breathing. This means that our organs can be better supplied with oxygen and have more energy, which stimulates our metabolism. This is due to a physiological response from nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is formed in the sinuses and is automatically transported into the lungs by nasal breathing. Patrick McKeown has found out in his research that nasal nitrogen oxides, which are formed during nasal breathing, have strong antiviral properties, i.e. also potentially protect against Covid-19.
Another technique that makes us fitter and more enduring is based on stopping our own breathing, this technique leads to a decrease in oxygen saturation in the blood, which is not negative, but increases performance and resistance to diseases because more hydrogen ions are generated by the decreasing oxygen supply, which in turn increases the buffering capacity / anaerobic capacity of the body. If you hold your breath regularly, your body will become fitter and more efficient in the long term. And that is exactly our goal during the Covid-19 pandemic
In ancient China, people believed in the power of Qi, which you can breathe in and out, which traditionally works much easier with nasal breathing, as the power can be absorbed into the body in a much more concentrated manner. Qi rules in the lungs and the higher the concentration of Qi in the lungs, the more resistant a person is to diseases of the respiratory tract. So it seems reasonable to conclude that humans also become more resistant to Covid-19. Is the success of the Chinese in fighting the pandemic not only due to tough measures, but also to greater resistance to diseases that attack the lungs? We don’t believe in coincidences. Slowed nasal breathing can be a critical factor, as McKeown’s research has shown us. The ancient knowledge of the Far East has been confirmed by the modern science of the West. So let’s use this knowledge and optimize our breathing to become fitter, healthier and more resistant to serious diseases such as Covid-19. The neuroscientist Andrew Hubermann, who has also contributed a lot to science in recent years by developing exercises that optimize body and mind, also favours nasal breathing to reduce the heart rate and yoga nidra for a better oxygen supply to the body.
Combine the old knowledge of the East with the latest scientific findings and your metabolism will take you safely and healthy through this difficult time with the help of your new and optimized breathing.
If you want to learn more about how to optimize your breathing, then take a look at these articles: