How to Breath Deeply for Weight LossPosted: April 30, 2021 in Lifestyle, Research by Craig Primack MD FACP
Losing weight can be stressful. It isn’t always easy to balance normal life with the added responsibilities of exercise, diet, or a weight loss program. Ironically, stress is also one competent of weight gain. To manage stress levels, use deep breathing as a technique. It’s one of the simplest stress management methods out there. Here’s how to do it properly and feel its lasting effects.
The Art of Breathing Deeply
Breathing is a part of our daily routine, but the majority of breaths we take, are not ideal. We tend to take short breaths that don’t fully engage the muscles of the diaphragm or fill the lower lungs with air. This can contribute to anxiety and shortness of breath.
Deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing can correct this problem. Taking a deep breath causes your diaphragm to descend which makes room in your lungs. Then your lower belly rises and exhaled carbon dioxide is traded for inhaled oxygen. Deep breathing can also help slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
How to Take Proper Deep Breaths
To get started with deep breathing, find a calm place to sit or lie down comfortably, then follow these steps:
- Take a deep breath through your nose. Let the air fill your lungs and move down into your lower belly, expanding your abdomen. Focus closely on the act of breathing and imagine the air bringing peace and calm into your body.
- Breathe out completely through your nose or mouth—whichever feels most natural. As you breathe out, imagine that air taking your anxieties with it.
- Repeat for as long as needed.
Note: As you try deep breathing for the first time, alternate between deep breaths and normal breaths. Note the difference in the way they make you feel. Hold your hand to your abdomen just below the belly button and feel the way it expands with each deep breath. Your hand should rise about an inch when you breathe in.
It is important to manage your stress levels when trying to lose weight. Many weight loss programs incorporate mindfulness aspects such as deep breathing and meditation. To do it yourself at home, start with 10 minutes and then work your way up to 20 minutes. You’ll likely notice a change in mood immediately!
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