It’s something so simple, yet so essential for life. Here are some cool facts about breathing that will take your breath away.
- One tree can supply enough oxygen for two people.
2. You take about 16 breaths a minute, which equals around 6 litres of air.
3. The lungs are the only organ in the body that will float if they are immersed in water.
4. The right lung is larger than the left because it must share space with the heart.
6. When you exhale, your body eliminates waste through carbon dioxide. In fact, about 70% of the body’s waste is eliminated as we exhale.
7. When you inhale, your diaphragm tightens and flattens so that air can enter your lungs. The air enters through your trachea, which branches into two bronchi, each of which is also divided into separate branches (or bronchioles). At the end of the bronchioles are alveoli, the tiny air sacs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to be quickly exchanged to and from the bloodstream. Carbon dioxide then passes into the alveoli and is exhaled.
8. Doctors recommend breathing through your nose rather than through your mouth because your nose is better equipped for filtering out any pollutants and dirt that might be in the air.
9. When you exhale, you don’t just breathe out carbon dioxide. In fact, according to a study published in Polish Pneumonology and Allergology, when you’re at rest you breathe out approximately 17mL of water per hour.
10. The reason your chest swells in and out when you inhale and exhale isn’t because your lungs are filling with air. Instead, these chest movement are caused by the contraction or relaxation of your diaphragm.
11. Women breathe faster than men. According to a study published in Breathe, this is partly because men tend to have larger nasal cavities. Women also have smaller lungs, diaphragms, and ribcages than males, as well as fewer respiratory bronchioles (or the branches that extend from the bronchi).
12. A study published in Cognition and Emotion shows that you can produce a specific emotion, like anger, fear, and joy, simply by changing your breathing patterns. When you’re mad, your breathing is quick, and when you’re afraid, your breathing is shallow. In both of these cases, try taking deep and slow breaths to make yourself experience joy, which is typically produced by slow breathing through the nose.