AN AMAZING FACT: The air we breathe is more than oxygen. It is a mixture of different gases that cover the Earth in a layer that is over 400 miles high, called the atmosphere. Air is made up of approximately 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and small amounts of argon, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and some others. Oxygen is our body’s most important physical need. Each breath we take brings this life-sustaining gas into our lungs. Oxygen is then diffused into our bloodstream, where it is transported all over the body through our red blood cells.
We all know that unless we are breathing we will die. But not many realize that poor breathing habits can affect your health. You can breathe better by using your lungs more effectively. Ideally, breathing should expand the lungs through lowering the diaphragm (a muscle separating the lungs from the abdominal organs). This can be accomplished by relaxing the abdominal muscles when you breathe in. The idea is to expand your upper lung area as well as your lower lung area, resulting in an increased lung function—deeper breathing. This makes a more efficient oxygen/ carbon dioxide exchange. In fact, the practice of deep breathing is one of the simplest ways of preventing certain types of pneumonia.
Typically the best air to breathe is found in the great out-of-doors, especially out in the country away from polluted city air. Some people might think indoor air isn’t so bad, but studies have shown it can be five times more polluted than outdoor air, which is bad considering that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. A simple remedy for improving indoor air quality is by “clearing the air.” Throw open the windows and let fresh air circulate through your home. Better yet, keep some windows open so that there is a constant supply of clean air coming through. If you live in the city, open your windows and air out your home at night since smog levels are lower after sunset.
God gives “breath to all,” not just physically, but spiritually as well. The Bible says, “And when He had said this, He [Jesus] breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). The Greek word for “spirit” is the same word for “wind” or “air.” Just as we need fresh air to live, we also need God’s Spirit to truly live the Christian life.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; Acts 17:25