Do often find yourself holding your breath due to stress, fatigue, or postural imbalances? Simple breathing exercises for stress can correct altered breathing patterns that have an adverse effect on everything from energy levels to concentration to fatloss and fitness results .
Best of all it's something you can incorporate into your daily fitness routine and it won't add to your workout time.
In my 12 years of training clients I've worked with quite a few women suffering from terrible anxiety and depression that contributed to unrelenting lethargy and stubborn stress fat. I found that incorporating simple breathing exercises like alternate nostril breathing made a huge difference in their energy levels and focus during our training sessions.
Just a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing before a workout calms your nervous system which leads to better easier breathing and better performance which in turn increases fat burning and results. The better you exercise the more fat and calories your body can burn. Watch the video below to learn this simple breathing exercise.
If you spend all day in front of a computer or you live a very sedentary life then chances are your spine has become C-shaped vs. S-shaped. This postural imbalance can greatly decrease your metabolism and fat burning potential simply because poor posture prevents your lungs from expanding and contracting properly. The quickest and easiest way to correct this is to breathe deeply while performing chest opener warmup exercises or stress management exercises.
The easiest exercise to try this with is the cat cow pose. Simply get on your hands and knees and breathe out as you curve your spine into cat pose then breathe in deeply as you expand the chest into cow pose. Continue alternating between the two for 8-10 counts. Watch my shoulder mobility exercises video for more examples and make sure you breath in when the chest expands (spine extends) out when chest contracts (spine flexes).
The Buteyko Method was originally developed for people who suffer from asthma, emphysema and sleep apnea but it can be used by anybody to improve oxygenation and minimize fatigue during workouts. It is a simple method that retrains you to breathe properly by creating a demand for oxygen. The best part about Buteyko is there is no need to get into complicated poses, to meditate, or be very focused.
To sample The Butyeko Method just walk in a circle or march in place with your mouth closed (make sure to keep your mouth closed at all times). After a while block one nostril and continue walking. You may begin to feel like you are suffocating but resist the urge to open your mouth and keep walking. Once you feel you can no longer handle this keep your mouth closed, unblock the nostril, stop walking and breathe calmly through the nose. This increases oxygenation which increased performance and fat burning.
I started using Buteyko breathing during exercise and found that keeping my mouth closed (instead of breathing hard like those porny fitness chics on youtube) increased my endurance and performance big time. Buteyko has a great DVD that teaches their entire method if you want to learn more about it.