How breathing works – Nirvair Kaur

How breathing works – Nirvair Kaur

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Translator: tom carter
Reviewer: Bedirhan Cinar We take a breath every few seconds. Our life depends upon inhaling oxygen, but we never think about how we breathe. It just seems to happen automatically. How can something that seems so simple be the key to keeping us alive? Breathing starts with the environment around us. The air we breathe in, or inspire, has a mixture of gases including nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen, which is the most important for our survival. It enters our body through the nose and mouth, moves down into the pharynx, trachea and bronchial tubes, and ultimately reaches the alveoli air sacs in the lungs. The alveoli use pressure to move oxygen and nutrients into the blood. The diaphragm and intercostal muscles are a pumping system that facilitates this air exchange. How you breathe affects your energy level, especially when you are under physical or emotional stress. Think back to the last difficult test you had to take. It’s likely that as you became more nervous, the tension in your body increased, and your breathing quickly sped up. The shallower our breath, the less oxygen that reaches our brain, and the harder it is to focus. What’s our response to physical stress, like a fast-paced game of field hockey after school? As we exert pressure on our bodies, the muscles require a great deal of energy and demand additional oxygen. Our panting breath starts to kick in, which creates pressure to draw in more air and oxygen to the body, and regulates body temperature by allowing it to cool down naturally. These aren’t the only times our breathing is affected or altered. Think about the last time you got angry or emotional. Anger creates a metabolic reaction in the body, which stresses it out and heats up our internal temperature. Have you ever seen anyone lose their cool? Ultimately, if we’re breathing under stress over long periods of time, there are consequences. When the cells of a body aren’t getting the oxygen they need, the nutrients available to the body decrease and toxins build up in the blood. It is thought that a hypoxic, or oxygen-poor environment, can increase cancerous cells. The good news is that we can control our breath much more than we realize. This means we can increase both the quality and quantity of the breath. The science of breathing has been around for thousands of years, from ancient yogis in India to respiratory therapists working with patients today. Both would tell you that there are specific techniques that will help you improve your breathing. Breathing is all about moving air from a higher-pressure to a lower-pressure environment. More breath means more oxygen, and ultimately a greater amount of nutrients that’s available for our cells and blood. We naturally do this when we let out a big sigh. Changing the air pressure going into the lungs is one of the main ways to alter breathing. Our body automatically does this when we cough, sneeze, or have the hiccups. Here’s a simple experiment. Close off your right nostril with your right thumb. Breathe in and out just through the left nostril. Notice how much harder it is to get the breath in. You have to focus your attention, and use your diaphragm and muscles much more than normal. By decreasing the surface area of the airways, you’re increasing the pressure of oxygen moving from the alveoli to the blood. Yogis often practice alternate nostril breathing to slow down the breath, increase oxygen, and activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which deals with the body’s operations when it’s at rest. Let’s try another exercise. Visualize the way a dog pants when it breathes. Now try doing the same type of panting, first with your tongue out, then with your mouth closed. You will find yourself using your stomach muscles to push the air out as you exhale. Place your hand under your nose, and you’ll feel the strength of the breath coming out. Breathing this way is hard because it requires an active movement of our diaphragm and intercostal muscles. Our body temperature changes quickly during this exercise from the amount of pressure we are exerting on our breath. It’s no surprise that you’ll find dogs doing this breath often to cool down on a hot day. When we sleep at night, the medulla center of the brain makes sure that we keep breathing. Lucky for us we don’t have to think about it. During the day, our breath is much more vulnerable, especially under stressful or difficult situations. That’s why it’s helpful to pay attention to your breathing. If you can monitor and change your breath, you can improve both the quality and quantity of oxygen that enters your body. This lowers stress, increases energy, and strengthens your immune system. So the next time someone tells you to relax and take a deep breath, you’ll know exactly why.

100 thoughts on “How breathing works – Nirvair Kaur”

  1. well i checked it out nirvair means without an enemy and kaur means princess so she's a princess without an enemy "seems legit"

  2. Typical TedEd viewer, I try to make a Homer Simpson style comment and someone does some research and replies with a meaningful , informative and intelligent response.

  3. I found it hard to breathe while watching this video. It's an awesome video, but just the fact that I was thinking about breathing throughout the entire thing made if difficult.

  4. There was no mention of how breathing in (inspiring) occurs because the body's pH increased due to a previous expiration of CO2. After breathing in O2, CO2 concentration increases in the blood (because O2 = final e- acceptor in ETC and CO2 = byproduct) and reacts with H2O to make carbonic acid/H2CO3, etc, thus decreasing the pH, which will cause the medulla oblongata in the brain stem to send excitatory signals to the diaphragm to go from a lowered arc to resting level in order to expire.

  5. You know… I was trying to do the little activity that deals with closing one nostril but I have deviated septum 8(

  6. I do pay attention, more than anyone else anyway. It's just that in school teachers often purely rely on verbal communication that often cannot be listened to again out of the fear that the teacher will punish you for 'not listening', but with a video with an animation, it's much easier for everybody, you can rewind if you didn't get some bits, and the information is practically spoonfed to you, which is good. Humans only have a 20 minute attention span, whilst a school period takes about 50. 🙂

  7. please don`t only focus on highschool education!!!!!

    help us with that damn krebs cycle or other complicated college stuff
    autoimmune system would be fun and with lots of animations 🙂

  8. The sad part about this is that even though you may be an awesome kid who is willing to learn outside of school, the majority of kids don't even bother and spend their times learn how to party or obsessing over that Bieber kid.

  9. this is why bodybuilders should do CARDIo… to get better cardiovascular and respiration system and to use all the nutrt. they have in body… 🙂

  10. Youtubers can choose their own topics, don't have to stick to a curriculum, can take as much time as they want to prepare for a video, any mistakes they make can be corrected so that only the perfect version gets put online, they don't have to deal with disinterested kids and with keeping them silent, and there's no chance of getting fired if they fuck something up. Give your teachers a break.

  11. I'm not putting the blame directly on the teachers, I'm merely blaming the school system for being inefficient, and the pupils of course. Some kids are just careless, some are aggressive, some are just not interested and don't pay attention, I on the other hand, do. And of course (even though there are some amazing teachers) most teachers are mediocre, but only a minority are horrible.

  12. My fault that I 'didn't learned' anything in 'the school'? I sense a bit of hypocrisy here… Besides, I wasn't talking about this whole year of school, I was only talking about that particular day, I did listen, I did work and I did do my best. But the situation I'm in is concerning the bullies and annoying kids. I've been bullied countless times over and over. And when I come to class 40% of the time the teachers say what I already know, in the other percentage they just give us written work.

  13. I totally understand what you mean bro. We (society) are using methods of the old world to maintain this new more fast paste world. Its like they worked for their time but now that we have better ways of learning and teaching we shouldn't be fighting to maintain the old (proven to be faulty) methods of yester-century.
    check out this TED talk and good luck in this changing world. PEACE-
    "Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education"

  14. I know how you feel … it's so irritating when you feel like you are wasting your time in school when you could actually be learning more efficiently. And we spend over 10 years of our lives in school …

  15. Well, you did say "Thanks TEDEd, you're way better teachers than the ones at THAT place.", so there was some blame on the teachers. I can very much understand your frustration with the school system, though. I can also agree that there are indeed some mediocre or horrible teachers. What I can say is, if you want knowledge, you'll get it no matter what.

  16. Actually…..yes. If someone is an angry person in general (as in they're rarely happy and may be depressed), their immune system will be weaker than someone who is generally in a good mood most of the time. Having a weaker immune system can lead to a higher vulnerability to cancerous cells growing within the body (cancerous cells are present in everyone's body, its the job of the immune system to keep them inactive).

  17. to the Idiot the said it was the pupils fault how about instead of blaming other you take charge of your own actions, You dont like the school system then they'res and alternative its called "HOMESCHOOL" many kids lack motivations due to the fact that they lack emotional intelligence kids with emotional disorders are more vulnerable to failure..Improve your parenting skills and educate your kid in the end its all up to you and how you lecture him if you expect someone else then expect what u g

  18. I see your point and you're probably getting a lot of hate from this but I wanted to say that I think he is not blaming the teachers directly but merely saying he learned more. I also noted the way he worded it and thought that he could have done so more appropropriatly-XD

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    They are giving away Macbook Pro's to the very first 1,000 that answer the 5 easy questions!

  20. So wouldn't you say that the interest of a child really comes from their parents? Sure teachers can do a lot to further curiosity in students, but your parents have to breed an environment where kids want to learn. Also in my opinion many parents don't know what their doing with their kids.

  21. That's true, but in the end the school system is still much more flawed than actually learning something by yourself. 🙂 And besides, I'm saying that school sucks from MY perspective, and how I was raised, not from anyone else's.

  22. Well, these days they make kids have to learn certain things so that everyone is on the same page as every other adult in this world. However, during the last few years of school, the subjects getting taught only tend to stay with kids who would learn it well (Who here knows what a Parabola is?).
    I go to a technological school. We have subjects like automotive tech or graphical design, classes being taught by people fluent in these fields for half the school day for the last 2 years of school.

  23. Am I the only one who thinks that most of these TEDEducation shorts are kina boring? Like when you watch them and expect to be entertained and to be taught by them but they fail on both these levels?

  24. No, because running (unlike emotional stress) strengthens your heart—stronger heart = more oxygen pumped in the future.

  25. But now I'm thinking about breathing and when I think about it, I'm force breathing and when I so t think about it I'm fine. But when I think about it, I feel like "am I getting enough air?" It's ruining everything. And ideas?

  26. Could you imagine how disappointed scientists all over the world would be if it turned out that controlled breathing is what caused us to evolve self-awareness? I mean the evolutionary advantages of controlled breathing have been stated in this video and you need to be aware of your breathing in order to control it, so it's not as outlandish a hypothesis as you might think.

  27. "…to move oxygen and nutrients into the blood"?!? What "nutrients" enter the blood via the alveoli? Pretty shaky science throughout this.

  28. Thank you Nirvair Kaur, u made it lot more sensible for me…I never understood the reason why yogis do what they do and how to raise body temperature by panting…priceless knowledge shared!!!! thnx

  29. pressure to move oxygen and nutrients into the blood? first of we don't get any nutrients through inspiration ( unless I am very much mistaken) and the oxygen moves through diffusion, a process that needs no energy. yes pressure is used to get air into the lungxs, but it doesn't get the oxygen into the blood as is suggested here in the video.'More breath equals more oxygen and more nutrients for our cells' 2:54 We do not breathe in protein, we do not breath in vitamins, but this video would suggest that we do.breathing this way is hard as it requires the movement of our diaphragm and intercostal muscles- 4:20. ALL breathing requires the use of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles ( again, unless I have been gravely mislead by all biology textbooks)breathing well helps improve you're immune system? pleas someone explain.all in all, I found this video is actually very misleading.

  30. YOU SOULD ALWAYS BREATH TROUGH YOUR NOSE if not its actually harmful to your lungs and to your amount of oxygen you can take in one breathe. even when doing sports !

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