4. Aids Weight Loss
A structured, deep breathing pattern can even help you lose weight. As more oxygen reaches your body through deep breathing, it helps burn up excess fat more efficiently.
According to research reported at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Backention in 2005, a structured yoga and breathing program decreases body mass index (BMI) among obese teens.
As this breathing exercise concentrates on the abdominal region, it causes changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain and changes in metabolic activities of the brain.
Plus, when more oxygen reaches fat molecules (made up of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen) through deep breathing, it breaks them down into carbon dioxide and water.
Further, by stimulating your lymphatic system, your body gets rid of these waste products. Therefore, more oxygen means the more fat you will burn.
5. Helps You Sleep Better
If you are having difficulty getting sound sleep at night, definitely try deep breathing. This simple exercise serves two purposes.
First, it helps calm the central nervous system so that you feel more relaxed. Secondly, it works as a meditation to quiet the mind. Once your mind is calm and clear, you will surely enjoy sound sleep.
While deep breathing works well on its own, it becomes more effective when combined with other relaxation techniques like a warm bath before going to bed or enjoying some soft music.
Close your eyes and do deep breathing for 10 minutes before going to bed.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a growing health problem. Several factors cause it, such as high sodium intake, obesity, lack of physical activity and smoking. Fortunately, you can manage high blood pressure with deep breathing.
A 2005 study published in the AHA Journal found that slow breathing improves arterial baroreflex sensitivity and reduces blood pressure in essential hypertension.
First, deep breathing triggers relaxation by reinforcing and activating the parasympathetic system. Secondly, it helps break down salt so that your body can rid of it easily.
Practice belly breathing for 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a day to manage your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.
7. Relieves Pain
When you are in pain, the instant reaction is to hold your breath and then exhale to release the pain. Well, you can surely try slow, deep belly breathing to ease pain.
It releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good painkillers. It even alters your psychological state that also helps manage pain.
It also reduces the acidity level of the body, making it more alkaline. An alkaline body can control pain more easily than an acidic body.
Slow breathing also has a direct effect on the sympathetic nervous system, which helps control blood flow and skin temperature. This in turn can block pain.