Here’s the first post in this series on over-breathing / low carbon dioxide tolerance.

And here’s the second.

Reducing, and eventually getting rid of over-breathing, is all about teaching your body to tolerate more carbon dioxide.

First, if you’re currently mouth-breathing, it’s time to stop.

Done? Swe’heet. You win.

Then, here are two other breathing exercises that’ll help. Courtesy of Patrick McKeown of the Oxygen Advantage fame. I’ve listed them here with the easiest first.

With both exercises, start by doing them when you’re sitting or lying down. Once you feel ready, practice them when moving around. And eventually try doing them while exercising.

  1. Try taking in less air with each breath. A tad shorter inhales, while still keeping exhales normal.
  2. Breath pauses. Breathe normal, pitch nose for 5 seconds, breathe normal for 15 seconds, repeat.

I recommend tracking your progress with McKeown’s BOLT screen. Unlike the name, the screen itself isn’t baked with intensity. It’s quick and simple for anyone to do. Even me.

Obvious warning here. Breathing exercises are money for most people. But if you have a serious health condition, or happen to be in the first trimester of pregnancy (go you!), they’re not for you. Talk to your doctor. They know.

Even more obvious warning. Don’t mess around with the breath when driving, swimming, having a bath, controlling a hot air balloon or handling a chainsaw, etc. I know you know this. But some people…