“We can live without food for weeks and water for days, but air for just a few brief minutes. While we spend a great deal of time and attention on what we eat and drink, we pay practically no attention to the air we breathe. It is common knowledge that our daily consumption of food and water must be of a certain quality and quantity. Too much or too little spells trouble. We also recognize the importance of breathing good-quality air, but what about the quantity? How much air should we breathe for optimum health? Wouldn’t it be fair to surmise that air, even more important than food or water for human survival, must also meet basic requirements? …
The point of this book is to elevate your awareness of how you can harness your breath to reclaim your body’s natural ability to breathe in a way that will help you achieve lifelong health and fitness, whether you are running to catch up with your kids or running to win a gold medal. My promise is that by applying the concepts and simple exercises in this book, each and every person, whether they consider themselves an athlete or not, will be able to attain tangible and profound improvements to their health, fitness, and performance within just a few weeks. Isn’t it time you did more—conditioning, winning, living—with less effort?”
~ Patrick McKeown from The Oxygen Advantage
Patrick McKeown is one of the world’s leading teachers of the Buteyko Breathing Method which was created in the 1950s by a Russian doctor named Dr. Konstantin Buteyko.
McKeown suffered from asthma for decades until he found the Buteyko Method. At which point, he reversed his asthma symptoms and then dedicated his life to helping others optimize their breathing.
In this book, he extends the Buteyko Method into an approach he calls the Oxygen Advantage. It’s a fascinating, inspiring read that has fundamentally changed my approach to breathing. (Get a copy here.)
Lest you write off this whole breathing thing as something that shouldn’t require any optimization, remember: a) We can live for weeks without food and days without water but only minutes without oxygen—which makes breathing well an essential fundamental; and, b) As with our other fundamentals of eating, moving, and sleeping, how we breathe has been significantly altered since the industrial revolution.
Therefore, optimizing our breathing is huge. And, this is a *great* book to help you optimize—especially if you have asthma and/or you’re interested in peak performance in sports or life. (If I ran or coached a sports organization, I’d definitely have fun implementing this with my team.)
The book is packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!
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