I’m sure we all know people spending countless hours working out, not just to be healthy, but also, to one day, achieve their dream body. But what they may not be aware of is that aside from physically testing your body and experimenting on different diets, there are other ways to speed up metabolism without pushing yourself too hard. And surprisingly, all this can be done by the relatively simple act of doing breathing exercises! In fact, one study has shown that we actually breathe out fat that we burn! If this is something that piqued your interest, here are some exercises you could try so you can see its results for yourself.
[related: In Focus: The Surprisingly Great Health Benefits Of Sauna]
The Breath of Fire
This may sound familiar to those who do yoga regularly, as some practices like kundalini yoga use this method. To do this, you must start by sitting upright and placing your hands on your core to keep it contracted, exhale all the air out and inhale for six seconds. Now, purse your lips and intensely exhale through your mouth, continuously for 50 to 100 counts (the inhales will come naturally after every exhale). On the last count, exhale all the remaining air in your lungs and hold for one second before going back to your normal breath.
This method is used to tone the core and is a little different from normal breathing. Starting on your all fours, breathe all the air out of your lungs as you suck your belly in. Without breathing in and keeping your stomach as close to the spine, hold your breath and expand your lungs, hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly exhale and repeat the process for about 5 minutes daily.
[related: In Focus: Jasmine Curtis-Smith On How To Live Healthily—And Sustainably]
Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
To do this, block your right nostril with your thumb and take a deep breath in through your left nostril for four counts, hold the breath for four counts. Now use your middle or ring finger to cover your left nostril, and breathe out for four counts through the right side. Repeat the process by breathing in through the right nostril. Do this for about 10-15 minutes.
One of the easiest and most effective exercises to tone your abs and lose weight would be this method. Make sure not to do this exercise after a meal, as your stomach should be empty. Start off by lying down on the floor or a mat, taking deep breaths, observe your chest and your stomach as they move up and down while inhaling and exhaling. If possible, try to make every breath longer than the last one, so if you started breathing in for 4 seconds, try to aim for 10 seconds by the time you end the practice.
Shining The Skull Breathing
This breathing exercise isn’t as difficult as it sounds, and isn’t just great to strengthen stomach muscles but can also help with respiratory issues. Begin with a comfortable seated position, and as you inhale deeply, contract your belly. While keeping your stomach contracted, exhale. Simple. Repeat the cycle ten times and then go back to your normal breath. You can do this process for up to three times.
ALSO READ: In Focus: The Ever-Hunky Dingdong Dantes On Family As His Key Motivator In Fitness
Banner photo from Unsplash