Speed of breathing
Hyperventilation (fast breathing) vs. Hypoventilation (slow breathing)
Normal unconscious breathing rate for an adult at rest, is between 12 – 18 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 escaping a threat, muscle power is needed. To increase power, burning of calories is increased and for that there is need for more oxygen. The body uses more oxygen and produces more carbon dioxide. Because of this extra demand, our breathing rate may increase, up to 50, 80 or even 100 breaths per minute (when exercising / escaping).
Just like many of us eat too much food, many of us breathe too much during rest & digest and that may lead to an imbalance between CO2 and O2 in the body.
When breathing relatively slow, less muscle power is used to operate the lungs. Slow breathing, allows build-up of carbon-dioxide in the blood, which is needed for an efficient release of oxygen to the cells.
It is worthwhile testing, what happens when breathing is slowed down. Find that balancing point where slow breathing is comfortable and air-hunger feeling is not triggered. The slowest breathing rate in which no discomfort is felt, is an important variable in a person’s breathing identity.
When breathing relatively slow heat and moisture recycling mechanisms in the nose, function more efficiently.