Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. Today I’d like to know what you know about what breathing can do for your health. If you have any questions about today’s blog, please give us a call at 806-322-3188.

So a lot of us don’t really think about breathing, it’s just something that you do on a daily basis, and you don’t really consider the benefits that it adds in. I had a personal experience from years ago when I went to a doctor and I was having high anxiety and stress levels at the time. So, I went to the doctor to talk to them, and the only thing that they prescribed to me was to take five deep breaths every morning when I woke up, and then each time that I was experiencing more anxiety and stress to take five more deep breaths. I obviously thought that was a little odd (I wasn’t at a traditional doctor if you can’t tell), but from that step I’d always been interested in the need for breath. As a personal trainer in Amarillo, I’ve been certified in things like Tai Chi, yoga, qigong, so breathing was already something that piqued my interests.

Breath connects our body to this grounding sensation. Whenever you can become more grounded, then your body can work better. So by breathing-by just really focusing on taking long deep breaths-you can help to promote relaxation, lower blood pressure, and increase your cognitive function. You can actually improve the way that the neurons are responding. And you can definitely improve your exercise experiences, recovery experiences, and even get better results just by what kind of breathing that you’re doing.

So if you’re doing yoga, there’s ten- fifteen different kinds of breaths that you can do depending on what your focus is for that moment. You can also utilize that breath outside of that breath outside of yoga in everyday life. Whether it’s trying to reduce anxiety from a stressful day at work, or during a workout, you can use those techniques to your advantage.

So, one specific breath that I wanted to share with you today is the “Four, Five, Six,” breath, where you would breathe in for four counts. Now, how long those counts would be is up to you. So you would breathe in for four counts, hold it for five counts, and then let it out slowly for six counts. And what that does, is on a cellular level, that actually starts to reduce the level of stress internally in the body.

So we’ve talked about this before, maybe you know maybe you don’t, but with stress, once you begin to become stressed, it becomes less of an idea and more of a real tangible thing that your body physically has to deal with. The only way to reduce that stress level is to start to excrete that stress out of your body, and that can be through any way that you lose toxins through the body, like sweat. Through that , you also start to lose that stress that way as well. However, stress will stay within your system, much like a drug does, for many months. So you could be six months out from a highly stressful situation, and maybe all those months out of that situation you start losing hair or feel differences in the way that your body is functioning. That’s because you still have that high level of stress as a physical, tangible thing within your body that’s trying to work its way out and it’s toxic to our body.

So what does stress do? Well, stress causes us to have less cognitive function, higher blood pressure, it definitely does not promote relaxation. It can actually take away from your results whenever you’re working out because you’re not able to bring the type of oxygen into your muscles that you need. Also your body is in this fight or flight mode, so it’s not building muscle the same way that it needs to because right now it’s just trying to survive. So when you start to take this “Four, Five, Six,” breath,  and start to use it whenever you can throughout the day, the more that you allow that stress to actually leave the body. You’ll also start to see things a little clearer, so that you don’t become stressed over things that you shouldn’t be stressed over. I recommend taking the time to do this for about three to four minutes and then just see how you feel afterwards. You might be surprised!

So when it comes to stress, a lot of stresses you have options on. A lot of them are our choices on whether or not to be stressed, and then there are some that are definitely not our choice and you have to figure out how to work around them. And so you have to look at the situation and see if it’s stress that you can choose to have or not to have, or is this stress that you really don’t have a choice on. From there you figure out how you’re going to deal with that situation. One of the best ways to deal with that is through the “Four, Five, Six,” breath. Now i’ve told you most of the benefits of this breath, but did you know that getting deep breaths-bringing oxygen into the body in a clear and concise manner-and making sure that you’re getting enough oxygen into the body during your workout could actually help to promote your results? So by doing that, you allow your body to go deeper into exercises, you’ll be able to sustain exercises for longer, and the body will start to show those results because you’ll be able to do more work than you would otherwise. So that’s where a lot of times, especially if you’re working with one of our team members, we’d be talking to you about your breath and what kind of breath you’re using, so we can make sure that you’re utilizing the oxygenation of the blood to be able to help the body to move better. And again, as you do that, you start to get deeper into those exercises, be able to continue them for longer, and start to see those results faster. So you’re able to build more muscle because your body is in a relaxed state and it knows that it can start to do extra things other than just survival mode. This way, you’re also able to burn more fat because you don’t need that fat in order to survive and your body starts to realise that.

Now, one more thing about stress is that when you are stressed, that whole deal about cortisol building belly fat, well it’s actually kind of true. Stress promotes that need for cortisol because cortisol helps the body to fight against stress. It helps to maintain a homeostatic balance if you will. And so in order for your body to make cortisol, your body has to then store fat, because cortisol is made from fat. Where it chooses to store it is typically around the waist and the hips. So that’s where you start to see that increase whenever you’re stressed. You might tend to eat more comfort foods, but your body is going to store more of that excess food that it would normally allow to be shifted out of the body, it’s going to store that in need for that cortisol to be built.

If you want to lose around the waistline, if you want to improve your health and results, then it starts with your breathing. So remember: you’re going to breathe in for four counts, hold it for five, and exhale for six. And make sure your doing that for three to four minutes at least a couple of times a day. If you can fit in more, then go for it, that just means your a superhero.

Now, if you would like our help on creating a program that would work for you, we would love to help you out with that. To get your consultation set up, give us a call at 806-322-3188 or email us at info@customfitness.biz At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.