#47 – How Meditation Increases VO2 Max, Lowers Oxygen Consumption
The relationship between meditation and the body’s level of oxygen consumption is very important for achieving many, many great benefits. According to researchers, during meditation, oxygen consumption decreases by 10 to 20%, leading to a deep state of relaxation, even more effective than a night of sleep.
After years of research, scientists have provided us with a better understanding of how meditation can decrease levels of oxygen consumption. During meditation, there are many changes that occur in your body. After a few minutes of focused meditation and deep breathing, you will enter a state of profound relaxation, slowing your heart beat, breath, and muscle contractions.
The result of deep relaxation, slower breathing, and a lower heart rate is less oxygen needed in each breath, and fewer breaths needed in total. In other words, your cells demand less oxygen. Generally, it takes about six hours of deep sleep to reach this same level of relaxation and oxygen consumption. In meditation, you can achieve this result within minutes.
Imagine the possible benefits if you could lower your oxygen consumption during your normal waking activity? With regular meditation practice, this is possible. The reason the lower oxygen intake is special and important is that it reflects a deep state of relaxation of the kind which revitalizes and energizes us. In these states, our body is able to rest from its normal activity to repair cells and tissues, making us healthier.
This relaxed state is one of the reasons meditation is good for our bodies and our minds. With regular meditation, we can make sure we are rested and have energy when we need it most, like during our work day, or while caring for children and other loved ones.
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