Coordinating breathing and swallowing is the first act of coordination that we do as infants. Once that is learned, infants average 30 breaths/minute the first 6 months of life, meaning that infants breathe almost 8 million times by the time they are 6 months old. Pretty amazing!
What does that mean for adults? Well, breathing does slow down to 12-20 breaths/minute. If we average 15 breaths/minute, we will have inhaled and exhaled 394 million times by the time we are 50 years old.
That is a way larger number than 99+% of us will ever see in our bank accounts. But pretty much we spend more time thinking about money than breathing. For some reason, we have learned that money is more important for survival than breathing. There may be some truth to it or maybe it is because breathing is automatic and money has to be earned. Either way lack of oxygen and build up of carbon dioxide definitely depletes the body of vital neuro-chemicals diminishing our vitality, brain health and overall fitness level.
Taking time to learn about the ins and outs of breathing is an investment in health and longevity. But the question is this, “How do we support that so important role of breathing in our daily lives?” We work to balance money coming in with money going out. What do we do to support our breath? Our breath stops because of concentration, effort, fear or anxiety. One way to begin is to “play” with the idea of, “How many times can I ‘catch’ myself breathing today?”. Taking time to notice the movement of the breath and eventually discovering how we interfere with it will put us in a better direction to balance incoming oxygen and outgoing carbon dioxide in our body. The health of our physiology and the enjoyment of our lives depends upon it.