Increase your body’s fat-loss potential by learning how to breathe better.
It may be surprising to learn that simply by doing something you do 20,000 times a day a little better – you can burn off more calories than rigorous exercise.
According to a study conducted by a leading California university, simple deep breathing exercises can burn off 140% more calories than riding a stationary bike. That means, if you do some deep breathing for just 30 minutes a day, you could burn off 350 calories!
However, the key to unlocking your body’s natural potential to lose fat through deep breathing involves making sure that you breathe correctly and mindfully.
Are You a Shallow Breather?
Studies indicate that most people only use about 25% of the oxygen capacity of their lungs. By retraining yourself how to breathe correctly, you can increase that to 75% and maximize your body’s calorie-burning abilities. When your body has more oxygen, it uses it to burn calories and fat.
Those who are only using a portion of their lung capacity are known as shallow breathers. They tend to use only the narrow portion at the top of the lungs to breathe in and out. Their breath stops at the diaphragm and they tend to pull in their stomach.
A lot of these tendencies can be blamed on today’s faulty notions about having flat stomachs. Many people tend to suck in their abdomen and believe that being rigid and statue-like is how they are supposed to look. Unfortunately, effective breathing requires the opposite approach – being flexible and open.
To see if you are a shallow breather, try this simple test:
- Place your palms against the lower part of your stomach.
- Gradually blow out all the air.
- Now, take a big breath.
If your stomach does not expand when you inhale, then you are probably a shallow breather.
How to Become a Deep Breather
The good news is that, even if you tend to breathe shallow, you can quickly train yourself to become an effective deep breather.
- To fill your lungs with more air, visualize the air going in and out of your stomach, not your chest.
- Thinking of your nose as the pathway to feeling calm, become aware of your breath.
- Expand your abdomen with each breathe and allow it to get bigger comfortably.
- Think of your core as existing a few inches below your belly button and imagine a flower blossom that exists in that core. As you breathe in, that flower opens. As you breathe out, it closes.
Breathe Deeply for Yourself
Start training yourself to breathe more deeply by blocking out 5 minutes in a quiet space and becoming aware of this slow, gradual and deep abdominal breathing. After a few days, work yourself up to 10 minutes a day. Before you know it, you will be able to breathe more deeply 30 minutes or more every day, which will significantly increase your ability to burn off calories and fat, even when you’re sitting.
By breathing deeper, you will also feel more centered in your body which will then give you a feeling of comfort and confidence that will benefit you in other areas as well. This meditative practice, which can be combined with your daily prayers, can give you back the essential energy that sometimes gets taken by all the stresses of life. So take the time and breathe for yourself.