How Many Breaths You Take Per Day & Why It Matters

On average, you take 20,000 breaths per day. We’re here to tell you how breathing works and how to get the most out of breathing well. Learn more.
Woman Breathing20000 Breaths a Day
Reviewed by
Published on
October 10, 2019
Updated on
May 4, 2021

On average, you take 20,000 breaths per day. We're here to tell you how breathing works, why it's important and what you can do to get the most out of each breath.

How does breathing work?

On average, you take roughly 20,000 breaths per day. Although a primarily subconscious effort, breathing is complex and affects all parts of the body. When you breathe, you use the respiratory system and your body's cells use the oxygen, and in return, create waste in the form of carbon dioxide.

The respiratory system is made up of the nose, mouth, throat, trachea (windpipe) and lungs. While the diaphragm is the main breathing muscle, the muscles surrounding the ribs, abdomen, neck and shoulders support your ability to breathe.

Why is breathing so important?

Breathing is the body's most important function and affects you in a multitude of ways. That's why, emergency responders take the ABC approach to assessing a situation on site. They determine if your airway, breathing, and circulation are functioning properly, and in that order.

Here's a deeper dive to what happens when you breathe:

Glucose is supplied to the body by the food you eat. When you breathe oxygen in, the cells react with the glucose, allowing your body to use it as energy. When your breathing is compromised, oftentimes its accompanied by sluggishness and fatigue.

Breathing in oxygen is crucial to helping defend your immune system. When you breathe oxygen in, your body creates what's known as superoxides, helping to fight against bacteria and viruses in the body.

Aside from superoxides, the nasal turbinates play a large role in cleansing the air you breathe. The nasal turbinates are fleshy areas within the nose that facilitate the conduction, filtration and humidification of the air you breathe.

The cells in your brain are incredible sensitive and rely on oxygen. In fact, your brain uses 20% of the oxygen you breathe because its processing everything that happens within the body.

With proper breathing through The Breathing Triangle®, you take full advantage of each breath, and provide the oxygen your brain requires. That's why, when your breathing is compromised, you may notice an inability to think clearly.

When you've been wounded or injured, your body needs some serious oxygen to help the body repair itself. During the healing process, the oxygen plays a vital role in fueling cell replication to replace dead or damaged cells.

When you're active, your muscles crave oxygen. That's why, when you're working out or exerting energy, you feel the burning sensation and weakness in your muscles. This is happening because your muscles are using oxygen quicker than your blood can replace it.

What can I do to get the most out of my 20,000 breaths?

There are many ways to increase better breathing, including diet and exercise, mediation, posture and stretching, to name a few. However, many of these techniques will prove to be ineffective if there is an underlying issue.

If you or your partner suffer from the inability to breathe well, ADVENT can help get to the root of your symptoms and create a proper care plan to get you back on track to getting the most out of your 20,000 breaths.

First published by ADVENT on
October 10, 2019
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How Many Breaths You Take Per Day & Why It Matters