Hyper ventilation (fast breathing) vs. Hypo ventilation (slow breathing)
We are all experts in breathing and we do it about 25000 times a day.
Normal un-conscious breathing rate for an adult at rest, is between 10 – 16 breaths per minute.
We can consciously decide that we are going to slow down or increase our breathing rate.
While engaging in physical exercises or when we escape a threat, we need to use our muscles. Our body needs more oxygen and produces more carbon dioxide. Because of this extra demand, our breathing rate increases from about 14 breaths per minute (when resting), up to 40–60 breaths per minute (when exercising / escaping).
When we slow down the rate of our breathing, we use less muscle power to operate the lungs and we allow build-up of carbon-dioxide in the blood, which is needed for an efficient exchange with oxygen in the lungs.
We can gradually slow down our breathing rate until we get to the discomfort-point, where we start to feel breath-shortage.
The slowest breathing rate in which we don’t feel discomfort, is our best choice for our breathing-rate. 6 or 5.5 breaths per minute are considered to be efficient breathing rates at rest.