A lot of weight loss tops involve one of two things: it's either a strict diet that leaves you feeling hungry and grumpy or an expensive gym membership. If you're sick of both and still not getting the results you want, this long-breath technique might help you achieve your desired weight.
A study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science demonstrates that diaphragmatic breathing can improve metabolism in adults by helping to turn on fat burning.
In a survey of 38 people, half practiced diaphragmatic breathing, a technique that all of us know as "belly breathing," in which you draw your breath slowly enough to stretch your diaphragm. The other half performed various breathing activities that included using a feedback breathing tool. In the diaphragmatic breathing group, researchers observed a substantial difference in overall oxygen intake and resting metabolic rate. The other group using the respiration device did not experience these changes.
How can these health benefits be derived from a breathing technique?
There are at least two ways in which this special breathing method gives you health benefits. The first is a basic indicator of the consumption of oxygen. When you breathe slowly with the "belly breath," the diaphragm relaxes and moves downwards. This opens space in your chest, causing your lungs to expand. Greater oxygen supply through the body increases the capacity of individual cells to burn calories, increase energy levels and make weight loss easier.
The thing is, most of us do shallow breathing, where the oxygen remains more in the upper part of the lungs, and the diaphragm doesn't get any exercise. When this happens, we don't get the metabolic boost that raises the oxygen supply. Well, guess what? Slow breathing is associated with stress.
The second mechanism of action is the effect deep breathing has on heart rate activates the parasympathetic system, which decreases our stress response, lowers variability. This is a ratio of the balance between your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Roughly speaking, your fight or flight response is the sympathetic, and your relaxation and healing response is parasympathetic. Diaphragmatic breathing blood pressure and enhances immune function.
Of course, this shouldn't necessarily replace the regular diet and workout routine. But if you're adamant about slimming down, a little bit of it will go a long way. Ready to use this technique on your own? Add it to the list of stuff you need to do to lose weight and see if it makes a difference.