How to test the quality of your breathing

Have you ever paid attention to your breathing? In today's 24-hour society, our breathing is negatively affected. And that while our breathing is extremely important! Breathing influences almost every process in our body.

Koen Gerritsen
De Romei Therapy and Training

This blog was written by De Romei Therapie en Training

We breathe too much nowadays, about once20 a minute, which means we breathe too often and with too big a breath. 12-15 times a minute is now considered "normal". But the norm is actually 6-8  breaths per minute.

Breathing has a great influence on various processes in our body such as heart rate, blood pressure,  stress, pain, and therefore also on our immune system. Because of excessive breathing, we experience more stress and end up in a vicious circle.

Breathing is largely an unconscious reaction of the autonomic nervous system, an automatic reaction. Yet we can also influence it, with positive effects on automatic breathing.

Take the test

To test the quality of your breathing, you can perform the Body Oxygen Level Test (BOLT):

  • Sit quietly (with a straight back and relaxed abdomen).
  • Breathe in through your nose and then breathe out through your nose (2x).
  • After this exhalation, hold your nose closed and put on a timer/stopwatch.
  • Measure the number of seconds until you feel the first need to breathe.
  • Stop the timer and note down the number of seconds.

The measurement has gone well if you can breathe as calmly after the measurement as before the measurement.

When you hold your breath, the carbon dioxide in your blood increases. If you can hold your breath for 40 seconds, you have a good carbon dioxide tolerance. This carbon dioxide tolerance can be trained through breathing exercises. This improves the quality of your breathing! If the BOLT score is lower than 30 seconds, it is advisable to start doing breathing exercises. This will give you more control and peace of mind over your own breathing, thereby reducing stress and pain complaints and improving the immune system!

Sensible and fun to try!

An ice-cold  

greeting, Koen Gerritsen

De Romei Therapy and Training