We were designed with lungs that have the capacity to serve our needs. We weren’t equipped with more lung tissue than we need. When you are resting, your body doesn’t need as much oxygen as when you are exercising. So, you don’t breathe as deeply when resting as when exercising. However, walking about isn’t resting. When lung movement is restricted by, say, poor posture or some blockage over your nose and mouth, physiology can be affected. Breathing is more than an idle pastime. Cells need oxygen to function. Breathing takes in oxygen that goes to cells, and it eliminates carbon dioxide from the body. The straighter you stand, the clearer your airways, the better your lungs can do their job.
Breathing is a subconscious function. You don’t need to learn how. And you don’t need to think about how your body handles the breath after it goes in. Your subconscious takes care of the whole process. It handles the actual in and out process; it handles the substances you breathe in; and it handles the elimination of materials that need to be expelled.
Of course, the purpose of breathing is to supply the body with oxygen, and we need oxygen to live. But there’s more to it. We not only breathe in, we breathe out. Exhaling is just as productive as inhaling. Inhaling brings in oxygen (among other elements and molecules). Exhaling removes waste materials, especially acid generated by cells.
The main purpose of breathing is to keep body fluids in the best condition possible. Breathing maintains the best survival-blend possible of oxygen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen ions in body fluids. Cells work best in a slightly alkaline environment. Breathing is a major part of your internal environmental control.
Dietary acid from protein foods is eliminated through the digestive tract. Acid produced by cells in their normal course of business is gathered in the blood stream, sent through the lungs, and exhaled as carbon dioxide and water. In fact, a hundred times more acid is eliminated in the form of carbon dioxide and water than any other acid eliminated from the body. It’s an ingenious acid management system. If we could manage our personal, national and global resources and capabilities as well as the body manages its resources and capabilities, we’d all be able to breathe a lot easier!