Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

I started reading this book (because on sale & health … )

The author, James Nestor claims that lung capacity is the greatest indicator of longevity in the Framingham study. I found a paper that agrees with that idea (they excluded smokers)

Nestor claims that lung capacity can be improved, so I’m off to research/try that. :grin:


It’s a really interesting book. I read it while on vacation this summer.


As a child I learned to play a trumpet. I remember my teacher at the time telling me that typically wind instrument players lived much longer than other people because of much better lung capacity and function.
I haven’t played now for over 30 years, however, having done several lung function tests over the last 20 years I can attest to having an enormous lung function capacity even though I never did any aerobic exercise (they tell me to stop even when I still have more air to expel)!
It might also explain why I have such a good VO2 max score despite having only started doing aerobic exercise just 18 months before taking the test.

I would suggest if you want to increase your lung function and capacity then take up a wind instrument.
It’ll also be good for the brain to learn something completely new!!

Fantastic book, I loved it, but I can’t run breathing only through my nose. I feel like I’m drowning. I leave my nose open, so I’m breathing through both.

So I think he’s crazy on that one.

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You have to build up a tolerance for co2. Here’s a podcast I did with Dr George Dallam, a past Olympic training coach and professor in Colorado who races triathlons using only nasal breathing. He explains how he worked himself up to that ability, and the benefits he obtained.


Thank you I will listen. Nestor really did sound like he knew, I just couldn’t make it work.

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Couldn’t i just breathe in as hard as I can and hold it, and then forcefully expel the air to give me same result as learning a stupid new instrument. The only instrument I ever learned how to play was the one played when I had no girlfriend :smile:

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I played trombone until I got beat out of first chair. :laughing:
During my teen years, I did a lot of free diving. My lungs have been excellent ever since.
Starting sooner rather than later is key.


I’m sure nasal breathing is important. I’ve been after it since my interview in 2021. I now sleep with mouth tape and I nasal breath when I ride in zone 1. I haven’t really tried to learn to exercise hard while nasal breathing but I have done co2 tolerance training. It’s a real bitch. Good luck.

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I read where one should get to 10 breaths a minute. Most have somehow evolved to shallower breathing and therefore breath 20 or more breaths a minute. My fitbit says I am at 14 per minute. I am going to start a plan of in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 5 for 3-5 minutes. Hopefully if I can do it consistently, it is suggested that I will see/notice improvements.


I had to ask – how does it measure respiration rate?

Many wearables that track your respiration derive it from your heart rate variability (HRV)

Found this balanced re mouth taping for sleep



“There is no one easy way to fix your sleep,” Dr. Dasgupta said.

That’s the truth.

Mouth taping is one of the good upside — zero downside interventions for health, but it isn’t enough of course.

An easy way to start is only taping the center of the upper and lower lips together. That way you can still easily breathe through the mouth but can start to get used to the mouth being closed. After a short time you can progress to full mouth taping.