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The Science Behind: Breathing (cover- Sara Chaudhari)

Breathing is something we all do. All-day. Everyday.

Why do we breathe, though? Why do we need to breathe?

Our bodies require oxygen to convert nutrients from food into energy. Without oxygen, we wouldn’t have the energy to do anything. I wouldn’t be typing and you wouldn’t be reading this. When food is converted into energy some waste is also produced, that waste is a gas called ‘carbon dioxide.’ So, when you breathe, you’re making energy and ridding your body of waste.

When we’re running why does our heart rate increase?

When you’re running, you need more oxygen. This is because your body needs more energy to run then it does to walk. When we’re running our heart needs to cope up with the amount of oxygen our body needs. It pumps faster and faster, till it can keep up with your body's demand. Your breathing also increases to make sure that carbon-dioxide doesn’t build up in your bloodstream. With the amount of oxygen, we take in when we’re running, it is also important that we exhale the same amount of carbon dioxide. Our brains are constantly checking the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide. If there’s too much waste build-up in our bodies, our brain tells our lungs to breathe faster, which makes our heart race.

Can you control your breathing?

Yes. Singers do it all the time. Especially rappers. It takes a lot of control to hold your breath for that long. Even when we talk, we control our breath. Based on what we’re saying, how fast we’re saying, and what emotion we’re using. We also control our breathing while swimming.

How do we breathe without realizing it?

A lot of times we’re not aware of us breathing. I know that the only time I’m aware of my breathing is during a run or while swimming. Our bodies need to maintain a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide. This balance is called the medulla oblongata. This part controls involuntary functions. This includes vomiting, blood pressure, and heartbeats. Breathing is controlled inside the medulla’s respiratory center, which contains receptors that detect when levels of carbon dioxide are too high. All of this happens automatically, which is why we can still breathe when we’re sleeping.

Until then...

Stay Curious ;)




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