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Burn Fat With Oxygen

1 May 2009 2,446 views No Comment

Sure, you know how to breathe…or do you? And do you know what breathing can do for you…beyond keeping you alive, that is? Did you know that breathing properly can help you burn fat even better than some exercises? In fact, studies by a California university have shown that simply deep breathing can help burn up to 140% more calories than riding an exercycle.

Obviously, oxygen is important for life, and I think we can all agree that it would seem reasonable to assume that it has a great deal of importance for health, fitness, and weight loss. Not as obvious is that several factors have made our attention to oxygen even more important in the last few years. Studies show that the level of oxygen in the air we breathe is diminishing due to pollution and climate shifts.

Not only is the level of available oxygen diminishing, but due to the stresses of modern life and lack of physical activity, modern Americans breathe shallowly and process oxygen less efficiently. Most of us have never been shown how to breathe properly, and we are poorly able to take in and process the oxygen that can contribute to a successful weight loss program.

Oxygen, when used effectively, can increase metabolism, flush fat-trapping toxins from the body, and increase energy, decrease fatigue, and encourage a healthy lifestyle which can lead to a multi-level attack on fat in the body.

Oxygen is required by our intestines to help effectively process and absorb nutrients. In fact, this area requires more oxygen than most other tissue. When the oxygen supply is diminished, as is the case with most shallow-breathing Americans, this ability to absorb and process nutrients can drop almost 75%, according to research by the University of Edinburgh.

As expected, increasing oxygen availability increases the intestines’ ability to to process nutrients. Surprisingly, this change can begin to occur within a matter of minutes.

To dispose of fat already stored within the body, this fat must be combined with oxygen to help burn it. Research has shown that a large percentage of Americans use less than 25% of their lungs’ capacity. Merely increasing oxygen intake through proper breathing can increase the body’s ability to burn fat by 100% or more.

The process by which the body loses weight and creates energy depends on a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). By oxygenating body cells through effective breathing produces an environment which encourages production of this substance.

Cortisol and insulin are also produced within the body. In a normal situation these chemicals have beneficial purposes, however, modern stress can cause over-production of these chemicals over extended periods of time. This leads to many destructive effects, one of which is the storage of fat. Proper breathing keeps the bloodstream oxygenated, reduces stress, and decreases cortisol production.

Another major function of the body is the removal of toxins. Modern day invaders such as food preservatives can cause the glands that regulate weight to become less effective. Even worse, one defense technique of the body is to form more fat in an effort to store those toxins. Well over half of these toxins can be converted into gases which can be expelled from the body. Studies by one California Clinic indicated proper breathing technique could increase the removal of these toxins by more than ten percent.

SO HOW DO YOU BREATHE FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND HEALTH?

First of all, regular (daily or almost daily), sustained activity, such as walking can, over time, guide your body to a deep breathing pattern which will eventually become almost second nature. By the way, strolling through the mall, stopping to look in windows or chat with acquaintances, has a place in a well-rounded life, but sustained activity means exactly that…sustained over periods of at least 20 minutes.

Yoga or Tai Chi are great ways to learn proper breathing techniques. In fact, the effects of these disciplines hinge to a great degree on the breathing techniques they teach.

The simplest thing to do is simply start breathing properly. As an exercise, take a few minutes, standing or laying down. Feel your abdominal muscles stretch as you slowly and deeply “belly breathe” to bring large quantities of oxygen into your body. Hold that breath for a moment, tighten your abdominal muscles, and exhale through your mouth as if blowing up a balloon or through a straw.

The goal should be about 15 minutes of this a day, either in one period, or over several smaller periods throughout the day. Once comfortable with the technique (which may take a few days) you can do this laying in bed (great relaxer at bedtime or energizer upon awakening), while driving, sitting at a desk, or standing at a cash register. They can be done almost anywhere, anytime.

The author is retired from the Army after 21 years of service, has worked as an accountant, optical lab manager, restaurant manager, and instructor. He has been a member of Mensa for several years, and has written and published poetry, essays, and articles on various subjects for the last 40 years. He developed an interest in health and fitness in the ’70s after reading numerous books, including Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s “Aerobics”. This has led him to continue his personal research into health and fitness for over 30 years, and to pursue course work on health and fitness. He now has an online health supplement store, and also has a website with articles on health, fitness, and weight loss, and a blog dedicated to the subjects of health and weight loss.

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