If you’re looking for another simple habit to add to your routine that promotes weight loss, this breathing exercise popularized by former Japanese actor Miki Ryosuke might be the perfect start to your morning. Deep breathing or pranayama, has numerous benefits including the ability to reduce stress and even lose weight. Our body does this by bringing oxygen to our fat cells and breaking them down into carbon dioxide and water. The blood disposes the carbon dioxide by bringing it to our lungs which we get rid of by exhaling.[i] This low impact and holistic exercise can be done without heavy machinery or years of training, just a place to stand and the ability to breathe.
Pranayama, a Holistic Approach Without The Strain
Deep concentrated breathing helps with weight loss, as your body breaks down fat when you inhale and exhale deeply and forcefully. This method can also be done without the physical exertion of running or lifting dumbbells, making it a seamless technique to finding a healthier weight.
How to do it?
There are two ways to get the benefits from pranayama.
The first technique:[vii]
- involves tightening your bum with one foot in front of the body while your weight on the back foot
- Inhale for three seconds while lifting your arms above your head
- Exhale for seven seconds but keep your muscles tense of your muscles
The next technique:[viii]
- Requires you to stand upright
- Tighten your bum
- Place on hand on your stomach and the other on the bottom of your back holding for the whole time
- Then inhale for three seconds
- Breathe out for seven seconds
The Japanese actor Mr Ryosuke, who found the long breathing diet claims that breathing like this for two to five minutes is enough, while research which found this technique useful had teenagers doing this active for 40 minutes at a time. Therefore, repeat this process for as long as you can, for a length of time that can be easily incorporated into your day. [ix][x]
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Here’s a video of the first method:
Deep Breathing Engages Your Whole Body
The respiratory system, circulatory system, digestive system, and the nervous system are interconnected. The oxygen you breathe is transported around your body by the circulatory system while the nervous system regulates your heart beat, and the digestive system feeds nutrients to your body so it can function. Therefore, one bodily function can have a domino effect on the rest.[ii]
Pranayama and yoga have been referenced since 3000 B.C. in the Bhagavad-Gita to improve mental and physical health.[iii] Its strong religious and historical roots are a testament to how it has benefited Hindus and now numerous people around the world.
Anand Shetty’s research, outlined in a cardiovascular disease prevention conference shows that teenagers who participated in deep breathing exercises and yoga four times a week decreased their BMI by 1.3 and lost an average of 6 pounds over 12 weeks. While the weight-loss is slow, it’s an easy exercise to incorporate into your day as it is simple, you don’t need a lot of room to do it, and it has an insignificant impact on your muscles. [iv]
Different research has also found that pranayama exercises reduce blood pressure and heart rate, [v] while another study found that pranayama and yoga improved in blood sugar, cholesterol, and insulin levels after 45 days in patients with type 2 diabetes.[vi] Now that’s a breath of fresh air.
Pat Lost 17 Pounds
One woman who wrote into anmolmehta.com exclaims how her breathing yoga helped her lose 17 pounds! The weight loss method is so simple and effortless that she will be doing it “for the rest of [her] life.” She realizes that it isn’t the quickest way to lose weight, but it’s a lifestyle change that is easy to incorporate consistently in a natural and healthy way.
Breathing is necessary for your whole body to function. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that breathing is connected to our the parts of our body responsible for losing weight. Indulging in a simple breathing exercise and incorporating it into your day for a few minutes can be a great way to embrace and take advantage of your body’s natural processes.
[i] Innes E. Now that’s a cheap way to lose weight – the BREATH DIET that takes just five minutes a day. Mail Online. 2013. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2381855/BREATH-DIET-A-cheap-way-lose-weight-takes-just-5-minutes-day.html. Accessed April 10, 2017.
[ii] Williams K. Body Systems & How They Work Together. LIVESTRONGCOM. 2017. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/179482-body-systems-how-they-work-together/. Accessed April 10, 2017.
[iii] Sengupta P. Health impacts of yoga and pranayama: A state-of-the-art review. Int J Prev Med 2012;3:444-58.
[iv] 46th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in association with the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism. In: Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology And Prevention. Phoenix: Circulation; 2006:E356.
[v] Ankad R, Patil S, Chinagudi S, Herur A, Shashikala G. Effect of short-term pranayama and meditation on cardiovascular functions in healthy individuals. Heart Views. 2011;12(2):58. doi:10.4103/1995-705x.86016.
[vi] Singh S, Kyizom T, Singh K, Tandon O, Madhu S. Influence of pranayamas and yoga-asanas on serum insulin, blood glucose and lipid profile in type 2 diabetes. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry. 2008;23(4):365-368. doi:10.1007/s12291-008-0080-9.
[vii] Innes E. Now that’s a cheap way to lose weight – the BREATH DIET that takes just five minutes a day. Mail Online. 2013. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2381855/BREATH-DIET-A-cheap-way-lose-weight-takes-just-5-minutes-day.html. Accessed April 10, 2017.
[ix] 46th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in association with the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism. In: Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology And Prevention. Phoenix: Circulation; 2006:E356.
[x] Innes E. Now that’s a cheap way to lose weight – the BREATH DIET that takes just five minutes a day. Mail Online. 2013. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2381855/BREATH-DIET-A-cheap-way-lose-weight-takes-just-5-minutes-day.html. Accessed April 10, 2017.
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