Watch Your Weight - part 6

Breathing shuns stress

It is amazing that many people stop breathing for a number of seconds or even more when they just confront a traumatic condition. Doing so diminishes the supply of oxygen to the brain and thrusts one on the way to more sufferings and feelings of nervousness, aggression, annoyance and fright. And when all these are taking place, the person may experience flawed responses at the same time as sensing a common failure to be in charge of the situation. Therefore, at any time when you sense yourself being thrown into an augmented traumatic situation, for instance, abnormal breathing, muscle tension, sweating due to nervousness or cold hands, the best thing to do is to change the method of your respiration.

In such cases you need to adopt a simple action. Just keep on breathing effortlessly, deeply and consistently. When the first indication of fright, danger or tension grips you, you may be someplace either in the inhalation or exhalation, hence the foremost thing you are required to do is give attention to closing the sequence. And, simultaneously you need to keep telling yourself, "Aware mind, and calm body".

It may be mentioned here that the internal inhalation of approximately 100 trillion cells in our body facilitates us to generate biological energy. In order to transform fuel into energy our body frantically requires sufficient supply of the amalgam that is able to execute the alteration. Normally, each one of us breathe approximately 20,000 times daily and this amount of air being inhaled may be taken for granted. However, the fact is that majority of the people only respire enough so that they do not get into a stage of comatose. According to neuroscientists, although we theoretically stay 'alive', we often do not provide enough amount of oxygen to our brains.

Researches conducted by scientists from the National Institute on the aging process hint that the blood circulation of a 20-year-old requires as much as four liters of oxygen every minute. On the contrary, a 75-year-old man requires only 1.5 liters of oxygen per minute for the same task owing to his trivial respiration and the absence of the suppleness of the lungs. Such a situation is normal, but cannot be avoided. However, several studies have established that a 75-year-old person who is physically fit is able to inhale an amount of oxygen that a 20-year-old young man can take in.

All these notwithstanding, most of us do not breathe deeply, but develop the habit of superficial breathing all through our lives. In other words, this means that we are inhaling less amount of oxygen each time we breathe and, therefore, are not able to provide sufficient oxygen to the cells. This is contrary to people who perform diaphragmatic breathing on a regular basis. When one does diaphragmatic breathing, the diaphragm muscle is pushed down forming a normal pressure vacuum that helps to pull in more amount of air into the lower lungs. A small spreading out of the abdomen and the lower ribs follows this action rapidly. And when the process of inhalation is complete, there is an expansion of the chest resulting in the upper lung area to be packed with the inhaled air.

When you breathe superficially or have a habit of shallow breathing, the upper chest involuntarily creates a situation of less oxygen and also gets in the way of the fat burning process and other types of energy generation in the body. In contrast, if you do diaphragmatic breathing, it helps to pack your lungs with air to their utmost capacity. This is a vital difference between the two breathing processes, as when you have enough air in the lungs that spreading all over the organ, you are able to obtain more oxygen and supply it to your blood stream. This, in turn, facilitates the fat burning process and eventually results in losing weight.

It may be mentioned here that when blood flows from the heart to collect oxygen from the lungs, it spreads to different areas of the lungs at uneven speed. According to a rough estimate, blood flowing to the top areas of the lungs travels at the speed of one tablespoon every minute. On the other hand, the speed at which blood flows to the middle areas of the lungs is a pint (a United States liquid unit equivalent to 16 fluid ounces) every minute and to the bottom regions at a speed of approximately one quart (a United States liquid unit equivalent to 32 fluid ounces) per minute.

Anyone trying to do diaphragmatic breathing will initially find it to be a much of work compared to shallow or superficial breathing. This is not the fact, but it appears to be more work simply because he or she needs to focus on amending their shallow breathing practice. In fact, in order to perform even diaphragmatic breathing one requires spending just about one per cent of the body's energy consumption to inhale and exhale air. It is surprising to note that people habituated to shallow breathing require spending twice the amount of energy to achieve the same task.

Hence, if you desire to remain healthy and be in charge of stressful situations, it is very essential that you quit your habit of shallow breathing and get trained in the method of diaphragmatic breathing at the earliest. Moreover, when you use your diaphragm while breathing, it provides you with additional health benefits. For instance, when the diaphragm narrows, this muscular void softly presses on the internal organs to move downward. This action of the diaphragm helps to massage the internal organs. Some researchers are also of the view that the contraction of the diaphragm also enhances the blood circulation as well as facilitates the expulsion of digestive wastes from the body.

Lack of fluids

Believe it or not, over 75 per cent of our body is composed of water and this potent liquid has a significant function in burning up body fat, fat build up in our body as well as in the process of storing fat.

In fact, water forms a means for all types of chemical reactions and this include the fat burning process too. People who do not drink sufficient amounts of water experience the secretion of a hormone called aldosterone that compels the body tissues to keep hold of just about each molecule of liquid. Many scientists are of the view that any decrease in the water content in the body may result in the augmentation of fat deposits. In fact, not drinking sufficient water may cause problems, such as exhaustion, common headaches, dizziness as well as lack of attentiveness at the end of a hectic day. In fact, these conditions start almost daily as soon as you leave your bed in the morning and intensify as the day progresses. The moment you open your eyes each morning, you already face a deficiency of water in your body.

There may be occasions when we continue to endure deficiency of water throughout the day and yet not be aware of the problem. When one does not drink adequate water to replace the water lost through various excretory methods, such as sweating, urination and respiration, they suffer from dehydration. Whenever there is dehydration, the volume of blood reduces allowing it to become thick and this is likely to create a stress on the heart and makes it less capable of providing the muscles with requisite oxygen and nutrients. In addition, when blood becomes thick or concentrated, it is not able to get rid of the waste materials in it.

Always bear in mind that even the slightest deficiency of water upsets an individual's biochemistry. For instance, when a muscle loses only three per cent of water, it loses about 10 per cent of contractile power and approximately eight per cent of alacrity. Therefore, water balance is on its own most significant variable for enduring well being and utmost functioning of our body. Many scientists are of the opinion that becoming habituated in life with less water is something akin to being used to continuous anxiety or nervousness. The answer to this problem requires some habituation and it is actually worth making an endeavor in this regard.