Who knew that breathing through your nose was so important?
According to the radio this morning, when we breathe through our nose, our blood pressure drops, and we become calmer.
There have been many studies done recently and scientists have found that by using our nose to breathe rather than our mouth, we calm and slow everything down. Athletes have known this for years and the sports psychologists teach this to our premier sports men and women. The result is better performances and faster times. Let’s face it we all know need oxygen to survive but when we use our mouth to do this, it is not as good. Just 10 minutes of nasal breathing increases the oxygen supply to the brain and things calm down helping us to see clearer.
I suggested to my Lifestyle dog training class at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, that they try it whilst teaching their dogs to listen. Instead of worrying about holding the lead properly or where the next dog is coming from, I asked them to think about their breathing. They were told to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth. In fact, just the same as you do in swimming, if you concentrate in blowing out through your mouth, you will automatically breathe in through your nose.
I was a competitive swimmer and when that career finished, moved on to teach many adults and children to learn to swim. As I am sure, many of you will know, it is one of the hardest things to learn, getting your breathing right in the water. But once you have mastered it, things quickly improve from there and you can learn all the four different types of strokes and survive in all type of conditions in the water.
Anyway, going back to my class today, as soon as they changed the way they were breathing, the way they walked changed. Their posture changed and consequently, their dogs looked at them differently. The dogs all started to trot alongside their owners and as the effect of breathing differently started to show in their owner’s body language, the dogs relaxed and paid attention. I wish I had filmed it, but it happened before I was ready😊
Such a simple thing to do but effective for everyone concerned. Why not try it sometime and let me know if it works for you.
One thing I do know is that if we let our dogs sniff - then they feel better. In fact, they don’t even need to find anything, just the art of sniffing helps them. It apparently releases endorphins in their brains, and helps them to chill, focus and relax. A dog that has used its nose to work, will sleep deeper and relax better, therefore ensuring a restorative sleep. This means less illness, less stress and probably less barking!
During Lock down I have been sharing with you lots of ways to keep your dog’s mind occupied and shown you how to do the basics of Scentwork. In case you missed out, here is the link again: Beginners Scentwork
I know that before Lockdown, we had enjoyed a considerable amount of success with our scentwork classes but with the closure of the halls, all this stopped. Although some of you have joined me for outdoor sessions at the secure fields, I know that many of you are missing out Scentwork classes. Without the use of the halls, this has proven difficult, but there are small signs of change occurring. I have heard that a couple of local venues may be opening for the Autumn and if so, I do hope to be able to offer you some classes learning and progressing up the scentwork ranks. It will be so nice to see some of your lovely dogs working again. Perhaps if you are interested, you can let me know what you would like to do as it will be a case of supply and demand. What do you want?
1. Beginners workshops?
2. Regular weekend sessions - held once a fortnight and designed to progress individual dogs at their own levels?
3. Follow up Scentwork workshops - moving from food to scent?
4. Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning?
5. Anyone want to take part in competitions?
Obviously, it is still early days but if you can let me know by emailing me at:
Info@thewalkaboutway.co.uk It will be super useful so I can prepare, so thank you.
And keep breathing through your nose, please 😊