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  • Writer's pictureTom W

How Well Can You Breathe?

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

Do you know how to test your breathing?


There is a handy test called the BOLT test (Body Oxygen Level Test) which helps you find out how well your respiratory system is working. Watch the video below to follow the instructions. Make sure you are in a safe/quiet environment before starting. You’ll also need a stopwatch or timer that can measure in seconds.

If you are somewhere you cannot watch the BOLT exercise video then follow these instructions. You will need a device that you can use to time your breath hold in seconds.


1. All breathing through the nose take a moment to breathe in and out.

2. Take a normal breath in through the nose

3. Breathe out through the nose and pinch your nose with your fingers closing the nostrils.

4. Start the timer to measure

5. At the first sign of your body indicating you need to take a breathe release your fingers and return to normal nasal breathing.


The BOLT score test is not a competition to see how long you can hold your breath for or a mindset challenge. It is to test how your body responds to a build up of CO2 in the lungs. When you release your fingers your breath should return to a normal pace. If you need to gasp for air or have fast breathing then you’ll need to try again.


What your score says about your breathing


Less than 25 Seconds

If your score is less than 25 seconds then it is very likely that you are displaying dysfunctional breathing patterns (DBP). This could as be a result of environmental or physiological effects like childhood asthma, anxiety, a history of smoking, long COVID and even bad breathing habits like mouth breathing.


25 Seconds and above

This indicates your breathing patterns are good but may still need some work. The ideal time our bodies need to work towards is 40 seconds. We want to achieve this time because it shows our sensitivity to CO2 is less.


When our body is less sensitive to CO2 we have a better control on our overall breathing. The bodies sensitivity to C02 is the primary trigger to when we breathe in and out. Most of us breathe too much and this awareness can give us a target to be better breathers.


Want to breathe better?


If you have any questions about your breathing or want to book a breathwork session then get in touch CONTACT US HERE


If you are in South Wales you can attend our breathwork classes and events. More details here.



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