Do you breathe like a tortoise or a monkey? It is a fact that a tortoise can live up to 400 years and that it only breathes 3 to 4 breaths per minute. An anxious monkey breathes up to 30 breaths per min. Animals that breathe less typically live the longest. Most North Americans breathe 15 to 18 breaths per minute and up to 20 if they have asthma or are anxious. Our breathing increases as we age by about 20%. The healthy breathing rate is 6 to 12 breaths per minute. Yogis believe that we are given a certain amount of breaths in our life, and when we use them up, we die. But by reducing our breathing rate and volume, our health improves and so might our longevity. The best thing you can do to improve your breathing and your health is to close your mouth and nasal breathe only. Doing this one thing could reduce your asthma symptoms by 30%.