Just Breathe

Besides healthy eating and exercise, our amazing nutritionist, Diane Bubeck, recommended that Brooke and I focus more on mindful breathing.  Since we already practice yoga and meditation, we honestly thought we had the breathing thing knocked.  Little did we know, we are superficial breathers.  (Not sure if we should take that as an insult or not) Anyway, to learn how to become deep breathers, we just finished this incredible book– Jumpstart Your Metabolism by author, Pam Grout.

We’re not going to lie… were a bit skeptical at first, but after reading, we are pleasantly surprised to find that it all actually makes perfect sense.  Breathing properly regulates your mood, gives you more energy, and expels toxins from your body.   And wait for it!….

                          It also helps you lose weight–no joke!  

According to Pam Grout, breathing is the key to sustainable and long-lasting weight loss. Grout, who teaches people how to change their breathing patterns to lose weight, says clients report losing a pound a day!

We have only been conscientiously practicing mindful breathing  for two days now, but will report back on our progress.

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Apparently, superficial chest breathing, like your physician asks you to do during an exam, is the incorrect way to breath on a daily basis.

So how do you check if you are a deep breather?

1. Put one hand on your chest, the other on your abdomen.

2. Take a normal breath.

3. If your chest hand goes up rather than out, you’re breathing wrong.

If you don’t breathe properly, you only take in a third of the oxygen your body needs.

Mindful, deep breathing can lower stress chemicals which cause your body to retain fat, Furthermore, you are less likely to binge or stress eat. The goal is to take long, deep breaths into your abdomen.

To practice this, as recommended, we rested on the ground with a book on our stomachs. On the inhale, you have to make sure the book rises. On the exhale, the book should come down. This is a lot harder to do than you’d think!

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Once you get the hang of belly breaths, Grout recommends trying the 1-4-2 breath.  We just went for a long walk on this  beautiful spring day, relaxed our minds and focused on 1-4-2 breathing the entire time.

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Focus on something natural and beautiful to initiate mindful breathing.  Our backyard Daffodils did the trick.

 

How to do the 1-4-2 Method:

  1.  Breathe through your nose to whatever count is comfortable–for us, we count to four.
  2. Hold your breath for four times as long… so we count to sixteen (probably too quickly than we should).
  3. Finally, exhale through your mouth for twice as long as your inhale–eight seconds for us.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grout says, “It will get deeper and longer as you  get better at it.”  You are supposed to practice this twice a day for ten repetitions.

Besides this amazing book, Diane, our nutritionist, recommends we purchase a device called a  Spire.  You hook it to your clothes and it monitors your breathing, notifying you subtly when you forget to breath.   We have yet to purchase these due to cost, but are definitely saving up for them.

So for now, we will set hourly timers on our phones to remind us to just breathe!

Collecting Rocks

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Were you already familiar with this great book?

Do you practice mindful breathing?

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