Losing weight is a big topic this month. Especially after the triple fat holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I’d add one more… New Year’s Eve. People tend to go to excess with mind altering libations for this celebration.
It isn’t easy to take off those holiday pounds. So, here is something you do everyday, all day long. You don’t have to pay for it. You don’t have to go to a special place to do it. You don’t have to learn how to do it. All it takes is a little bit of your attention. It is simply exhaling longer than you inhale.
My diet and exercise coaches from Warrior Made covered this topic beautifully in one of their recent emails to me. I’d like to share it with you.
Breathe easy and lose weight!
Today I want to share with you something I do several times a day to help me reduce stress, increase energy and even reduce cortisol which will help you with stubborn fat.
You see…The #1 stress-reducing exercise that I literally practice every single day is Conscious Breathing!
You see, breathing is arguably the most important function in the human body. As I’m sure you know, without it for only a few minutes and you lose consciousness. So how does the air you breathe affect your well-being and fat loss results?
Take this test right now…
Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Take a huge breath in and notice which hand moves out further. If the hand on your chest puffs out while the hand on your belly stays still or even worse… goes back, you are breathing in a way that your body will perceive as stressful.
You see your body is governed by 2 sides of the central nervous system, one called the sympathetic nervous system which regulates the “fight or flight” feeling and the other called the parasympathetic nervous system which regulates the “rest and digest” feelings.
Chest breathing (where your belly doesn’t expand) activates the sympathetic nervous system whereas belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
This means that if you spend your days “chest breathing” your body will constantly be in a state of mild stress. This is no good for achieving a state of maximal fat loss or positive wellbeing!
So… while you’re being active, take the time to practice your breathing, if need be with one hand on your chest and one on your belly until you are able to feel that your belly is doing the majority of the expanding. Then ask yourself throughout the day if you are breathing relaxed (i.e. belly) or tense (i.e. chest) and proceed to correct yourself.
This one little fix will give you more energy and make you feel much better throughout your days. So what about the actual air we breathe?
Being around polluted air is almost unavoidable these days, so instead of advising you to move to the forest, let’s take a look at the best type of air you can breathe.
Negative ions, are an electrically charged particles (atoms or molecules) that produce profound health benefits. As an example, think about how you feel in a crowded space like a packed indoor concert. Although you may be enjoying the music the atmosphere leaves you feeling run down, you exit feeling as if you have a layer of filth on your skin. Do you know this feeling?
Take the exact opposite situation, imagine the feeling you get when you walk outside after it rains, imagine the feelings you get when you are around a waterfall or at the beach imagine the feeling of serenity you get when sitting around a campfire. This feeling is regulated by the amount of negatively charged ions present in the air that you breathe.
So, instead of wearing a gas mask, try to put yourself in situations where you can breathe in the fresh air of the ocean, take in the crisp smell of the forest and shift your mood and your physiology through just the quality of the air you breathe. Better yet, take a walk outside in the morning dew, or by the ocean, or in the forest and reap the benefits of breathing truly fresh air!
There you have it :-). Practice this breathing as often as you can! Because when you consistently use this anti-stress method you will consistently chip away at pent up stress 🙂
Until tomorrow, keep breathing!