We all know there are many methods (but few secrets) to lose weight and improve fitness. From running to biking, swimming to Tai Bo, hiking to water aerobics, there is no limit to the variation of athletic activities which can be performed to help participants lose weight. But what you might not know is that the simple act of breathing can help you lose weight as well. Now, before you stand there and start hyperventilating by over-exerting yourself, there is more to it. Nothing replaces dedication and willpower. But it may give you some confidence that you can add to your weight lose plan by focusing on the way you breathe. Simply changing the manner in which you breathe on a regular basis will improve your metabolism and help motive you during weight loss. Even if you have a regular exercise routine, this provides added value for those times when you are unable to work out.
Why it works: Improved breathing techniques kick-start the body’s metabolism
The metabolic process of losing weight. Contrary to popular belief, much of the fat from the body is released during exhalation and not as energy. The carbon stored in fat cells (specifically triglycerides, which are converted from carbohydrates) are not converted, but simply must be discharged. Therefore, raising the metabolic rate removes carbon from the body in an equally fast rate, increasing the fat excretion. A study by professors at UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences in Australia discovered that when 22 pounds of fat is oxidized, 18.5 pounds leave the body through the lungs as CO2. The remaining 3.5 pounds becomes water. This contradicted the common belief that fat is excreted in urine, sweat, or even feces, and indicates that the lungs are the main organ for weight loss!
How to do it: You Can Improve Breathing to Accelerate Weight Loss
Whether you are participating in an exercise program and want a little something extra to help, or not quite ready to hit the gym but looking for easy activities to add to your day-to-day life, establishing a breathing exercise regimen can and will make a difference. By exercising only 1 hour each day, your metabolic rate (and breathing rate) is increased, by an average of 20%. Deep breathing increases oxygen, helping to burn fat found in the body. The additional work of the abdominal muscles helps to eliminate the fat specifically located in the belly. There are three types of breathing, each offering a slightly different benefit for weight loss:
Diaphragm/Belly breathing. One of the most effective breathing techniques, diaphragm breathing improves flexibility of abdominal muscles and increases lung capacity. One way to improve your diaphragm breathing is to simply breathe naturally, focusing on limiting the rise of the chest.
The tendency for adults to “suck in the belly” disengages the diaphragm, pulling the stomach in, and subsequently reducing lung capacity. A stronger diaphragm (and core) corresponds to increased lung capacity.
Mouth/Pursed Lips breathing. This type of breathing helps to tone your chin and cheeks while pressurizing the abdominal muscles, increasing the loss of belly fat. To do this, open your mouth and inhale AND exhale at the count of ten. This simple exercise can be done regularly with only 10 minutes of time.
Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT). If you are looking to truly improve lung function, both for weight loss and for athletic training (for stamina and reduced fatigue), consider adding an RMT device like the PowerLung to your daily routine, with or without exercise. Improved respiratory health and weight loss can be achieved by all users, from athletes to musicians, while the variety of models make it suited for those suffering from COPD or other upper respiratory conditions.
By improving lung function, the entire respiratory system (the lungs, diaphragm and intercostals) are strengthened. The combination of threshold resistance in both inhalation and exhalation provides users with a customized program, wherein users can adjust the device to suit their current respiratory ability.
An Optimized Respiratory System: Key to Weight Loss
As you can see, efficient breathing is much more important than you realize! More than just a function of being alive, focused breathing helps to excrete fat and when monitored and practiced efficiently and can be an important part of your daily exercise routine. Along with improved eating habits and fewer calories, increased respiration allows you to exhale more fat. It is especially beneficial to include a breathing routine to your training regimen for those times when injury, illness, vacation, and even inclement weather wreaks havoc on your training plans!
When looking to take your respiratory training regimen further, look to the PowerLung respiratory muscle training device. It helps you improve the effectiveness of your respiratory training, supporting your weight loss and overall health. With a device to fit any level of training, PowerLung is customized for your needs.