When it comes to losing weight and boosting our metabolism, we tend to focus on fad diets and supplements rather than thinking about our breath. Surprisingly, the breath plays a major role in fat loss and metabolism.
Taking 15 minutes a day to just breathe a little deeper could help aid in weight loss.
Fat is made up of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen. When oxygen makes its way to the fat molecules, it breaks them down into carbon dioxide and water. The blood filters out the carbon dioxide and gives it to the lungs to be exhaled. Oxygen also thins the blood, which lowers your blood pressure and speeds up metabolism. That’s a pretty cool perk for something the body does on its own.
Add some conscious breathing to your daily routine with one of these five methods.
Method 1: Deep Breathing For Relaxation
1. Exhale all the air from your lungs.
2. Inhale slowly through the nose for six counts.
3. Hold at the top of your inhale for six counts.
4. Exhale slowly for six counts.
5. Check your posture. Are you slouching with your exhale? If you’re slouching, readjust your position to ensure a straight spine and repeat steps 2 through 5.
Do this 10 times each evening or when you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed. You can do the exercise lying down, sitting up or standing.
Method 2: Deep Breathing For Energy
1. Exhale all the air from your lungs.
2. Inhale slowly through the nose for six counts. When you feel like your lungs are completely filled, take one more sip of air.
3. Hold your breath for eight counts. Work toward eventually holding it for 12 counts.
4. Exhale through the mouth for eight counts. Do not release all the air at once. Try pursing your lips to release air more slowly. When you feel like you have no more air in your lungs, exhale one breath more.
5. Hold your breath again for 8 counts, keeping your ribcage and abdomen tight and contracted. If you can’t hold your breath for eight counts without feeling overwhelmed, hold your breath for less time and try to work toward eight counts.
Repeat these steps 10 times in the morning and anytime during the day for a burst of energy. You can do this exercise sitting or standing.
Method 3: Alternate Nostril Breathing for Cleansing
1. Sit up straight and place your left hand comfortably on your left knee.
2. Place the tip of your right index finger and middle finger on the space between your eyebrows. Place your right thumb on your right nostril. Position your right ring finger near your left nostril.
3. Press your thumb down on your right nostril and exhale through the left nostril until there’s no more air in your lungs. Breathe in deeply through your left nostril.
4. Release the pressure on your right nostril, press down with your ring finger on your left nostril, and exhale through your right nostril until there’s no more air in your lungs.
5. Release the pressure on your left nostril, and breathe in through your right nostril.
6. Repeat steps 3 through 5.
Remain in a comfortable seat position and repeat this sequence five to seven times.
Method 4: The Breath of Fire For Metabolism
1. Sit up very straight and place your fists on your core center. This will encourage you to keep your core contracted.
2. Exhale all the air from your lungs.
3. Inhale slowly through the nose for six counts.
4. Purse your lips and make short, powerful exhalations. Do not inhale in between exhalations. The force of the exhalations will naturally bring air back into your lungs. Exhale 50 to 100 times, gradually increasing the number of exhales.
5. On the last exhale, force all of the air from your lungs and hold for one count.
6. Relax and breathe normally.
Do this sitting on your knees or in a comfortable seated position.
Method 5: Vacuum Breathing For Toning the Core
1. Place your knees and hands on the ground.
2. Exhale all the air from your lungs while sucking your belly in.
3. Hold your breath and expand your lungs without an inhaling. Try to pull your stomach to your spine.
4. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
5. Release your breath slowly and repeat.
Do this for five minutes each day.