5 EASY Ways to Start Losing Weight Today

5 EASY Ways to Start Losing Weight Today


easy ways to lose weight fast

Looking for easy ways to lose weight fast?

We all know the quick-fix diets don’t work. In fact, these are 5 diets I stopped doing to Lose 45 pounds!

That said, there are little daily habits you can add it that will help you start losing weight today!

If you need a place to start, add these science backed tips into your daily routine!

3 HEALTHY ways to Lose Weight:

1. Eat More Fiber:

 Fruits and veggies with water soluble fiber will increase the feeling of fullness to help you avoid overeating naturally. Some of my favorites are foods like:

  • sweet potato, avocado, apples, broccoli, beans, nectarines, flax and oats.

Aim for 5-8 servings of fruits and veggies each day! These are easy to add to your Hot Body Meal Plan meals anytime or as a quick snack.

healthy recipes and easy ways to lose weight fast

2. Drink Green Tea/Match:

It can “increase energy expenditure by 4% and increase selective fat burning by up to 17%, especially harmful belly fat. Matcha is even more powerful”

Pep Rally Energy Boost is a delicious way to get your daily dose of green tea and matcha. Get yours here. 

matcha green tea, energy boostgreen tea, easy ways to burn fat fast

3. Get Enough Sleep: 

7-9 hours can help decrease cortisol levels, increase metabolism, reduce the risk of obesity and weight gain and help you make better food choices throughout the day!

If you’re struggling to get in 7-9 hours of solid sleep, take Slumber Party Sleep Boost about 30 minutes before bed – it’s AMAZING!

Want More Easy Ways to Lose Weight Fast?

We all know there are no shortcuts to weight loss, but these little habits are easy ways to lose weight fast if you start adding them into your daily routine.

If you want even more little hacks like this checkout these 11 tips reasons you’re not losing weight blog I shared a while back.

Small wins every day babe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LTOFtpTrUg





Source link

Breathe Properly: Yoga & Diaphragmatic Breathing

Breathe Properly: Yoga & Diaphragmatic Breathing


In times of stress, we’re often told to “just take a deep breath.” Does it actually help? Sure, maybe for a minute, but the calm is unlikely to last much longer. Why not? 

Anxious humans typically breathe with their shoulders, clavicle, and upper ribs. Such shallow, quick breathing activates the fight-or-flight nervous system and prepares muscles for action. And while it’s good for our bodies to employ this kind of breath as a response to a physical stimulus (like exercise), it creates unnatural stress when we’re trying to deal with modern situations (like getting stuck in traffic). 

Tell someone in an agitated state to “take a deep breath” and you’ll likely see their chest puff up like a seagull in mating season. How do we train our reflexes to find deep and relaxing breaths?

Through education, yoga, and body awareness, that’s how! Here, we explain.

Table of Contents

Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes flow.

And that’s what the new Discover Yoga Series on the adidas Training app is all about: bringing you to your flow state. Perfection doesn’t matter: whether you’re new to the practice or a seasoned yogi, our 8-week series puts you on the path to grace, mobility, and bliss. From pranayama to vinyasa, OM to namaste, our professional yoga instructor leads you through every pose. All you need is a mat, a sense of curiosity, and a desire to get stronger, from the inside out. Get your flow on!

Diaphragmatic Breathing Defined

The opposite of throaty, anxious breathing is diaphragmatic breathing (also known as belly breathing, deep breathing, or abdominal breathing). It involves relaxing the belly on the inhale, filling the lungs completely, and allowing the natural and gentle core contraction on the exhale. Watch a baby breathing and you’ll get the idea; it’s actually the way our diaphragm, core muscles, ribs, and lungs are built.

Belly breathing increases the oxygen saturation in our bodies. By deepening the inhales and exhales, we decrease the respiration frequency and saturate our body with oxygen. Oxygen tells our brain and muscles that they are safe.(1)

Does Diaphragmatic Breathing Have Health Benefits?

Absolutely! Abdominal breathing is used as mind-body training for dealing with stress and psychosomatic conditions (i.e., physical and emotional maladies triggered by external events).(2) Here are a few specific ways that belly breathing can make you feel better, inside and out.

Decreased Stress And Anxiety

Diaphragmatic breathing causes a physical relaxation response. This creates a logical thinking pattern and lessens the amount of cortisol (the “stress hormone”).(3)

Entering into labor before a baby is an extremely scary situation. And yet, mothers who practiced abdominal breathing during pre-term labor experienced less anxiety. Diaphragmatic breathing is actually used as a nursing intervention, akin to the administration of low-level sedatives!(4)

Chronic Pain Reduction

Chronic pain is a fascinating beast, as it’s often difficult to peg on a single physical issue. Many scientists and physical therapists believe that pain is experienced from a psychosomatic perspective: it’s more emotional than physical. Chronic pain may be a reflection of the person’s psychological fear of a recurrence of a painful moment. The body sends a pain sensation because it’s afraid of the original painful incident happening again. For instance, the site of a broken rib may hurt years later as a physical expression of fear that another accident.

Yoga and breathwork help. One study analyzed participants with chronic low-back pain on a seven-day yoga retreat. The retreat focused largely on yoga breathing techniques. After the retreat ended, every participant reported less anxiety and depression related to their back pain. Many reported a reduction in actually back pain symptoms, as well.(5)

The breathwork might not have completely eliminated chronic pain, but it made them better at coping with it and elevated their overall perception of health. 

Breathing Fun Fact:

Diaphragmatic breathing helped participants suffering from motion sickness in a virtual reality simulation.(6) So breathe with your belly next time you get carsick!

Stabilization Of Blood Pressure

Heart rate variability causes unhealthy fluctuations in blood pressure. Participants with blood pressure problems who were given slow abdominal breathing techniques showed a reduction in heart rate variability.(7)

Moreover, slowing down breaths per minute with belly breathing practices reduced chronic shortness of breath (dyspnea) for the participants in one study.

Heightened Athletics

Regular belly breathing practice can shorten your recovery time and improve your workout performance. This was shown in a study of patients with chronic shortness and breath and in studies of older adults.(8)

Enhanced Digestion

One of the most interesting aspects of abdominal breathing is its ability to “massage the stomach.” Deep breathing helps people deal with gastrointestinal stress by reducing abdominal pain, urgency, bloating, and constipation.(9)

But belly breathing massages more than the intestines: it’s basically a nervous system massage, too! Deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. In a parasympathetic state, our body is filled with “chill” hormones that help us to “rest-and-digest” (versus flee or fight). When we breathe deeply, our body knows that it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. I.e., it’s time to digest whatever we’ve hunted and gathered!

Finally, people who struggle with reflux diseases benefit greatly from belly breathing. Humans actually have 2 diaphragms: one at the base of the lungs and one at the base of the throat. The diaphragm at the base of the throat can become incompetent, causing digestion reflux. One study used a diaphragm breathing exercise to treat people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). And it worked!(10)

Smarter And More Attentive

Deep breathing increases cognition and focus. Participants in one study who were given a “breathing intervention” demonstrated increased sustained attention.(11)

Burnout has many symptoms, two of which are the inability to make decisions and decreased attention. But deep breathing exercises can help: a study of burned-out mental health professionals revealed that just one day of breathwork resulted in a better outlook on their lives and jobs.(12)

Becoming more mindful is one of the greatest benefits of breathing exercises. When we’re mindful, we’re in tune with our emotions and physical responses. And, we’re more sure of our role in the world. We’re more attentive, alert, and oriented. Meditative breathwork has been shown to increase mindfulness in participants.(13, 14)

Sounder Sleep

Whether you struggle to fall asleep or to stay asleep, diaphragmatic breathing can help. Clinically it’s been proven to help people with disordered sleep fall asleep.(15) More commonly, many people choose to do their yoga or calming breath practices in the evening, before bed, as a way of cleansing the day’s toxic stressors and preparing the body for rest.

Pranayama: The Yoga Of Breath

The physical practice of asana, the movements in a yoga practice, is just one aspect of yoga. In fact, the breathwork conducted before, during, and after yoga sessions is the biggest reason why yoga “works.” 

Pranayama is any number of yogic breathing techniques that stimulate the nervous system and create mind-body synchronicity. Most yoga practices start with some sort of focused pranayama at the beginning. Then, the yogi uses nasal breathing (ujjayi) during the practice, sometimes linking one movement with one breath (vinyasa). During the final resting pose (savasana), yogis are usually encouraged to breathe diaphragmatically, often through their nose and out their mouth.

Evidence gathered from yoga practitioners confirms a reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity (“fight-or-flight”) and an increase in parasympathetic nervous system activity (“rest-and-digest”).(16, 17)

The Kriya Yoga Study

One of the most oft-cited yoga and breath studies involved a specific type of yoga: Sudarshan Kriya Yoga, better known as just Kriya yoga. In fact, the Sanskrit term kriya actually refers to a variety of sanctioned “cleansing practices,” from washing one’s body to intensive physical exercises. One of the most frequently-employed kriya is the pranayama of kapalabhati breath, or bellows breath. This challenging breathwork involves forcibly exhaling the breath at a higher frequency than the inhale, for a total of 60 repetitions, while sitting in a cross-legged position with the hands pressed to the knees. The study found that people who practiced this style of breath experienced less stress, anxiety, and depression. It also helped people deal with substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.(18)

Bellows breath is unique in that it actually creates a high-intensity situation in the nervous system. The practitioner learns how to stay mentally calm when breath rapidity increases. And, they learn what stress REALLY feels like. This can make other “normal” stressors seem less intense.

Caution

Kapalabhati is physically and emotionally triggering. Only practice with a trained professional.

Just Do Yoga

The thing is, many people struggle to sit and down and meditate,  especially in very tense moments. And it’s difficult to carve time out “rest time” in a day full of tasks. Have you ever tried “just sit and breathe” in front of a pile of dirty dishes? Us, either. 

That’s where yoga comes in. For many, the physical movements in the yoga practice help re-focus from incessant thinking. The act of being physical and connected to movement can help release psychosomatic tension. And it makes it feel like we’re “doing something,” which is what our fight-or-flight hormones desire. Since every yoga movement and flow is guided by breath, practitioners often begin breathing more calmly without realizing it. 

Yoga doesn’t inherently call for abdominal breathing, but it does use interesting breathing techniques to make the yogi more aware of the breath and its power. Using yoga and other breath techniques is the first step to creating a naturally deep breath cycle. 

Breathing Exercises, From Yoga And Beyond

The following breathing exercises are a great way to become more observant of your breathing patterns. Some come from yoga, others from mindfulness practices. 

After you’ve completed an exercise, sit quietly for a little while longer, breathing into your relaxed belly. You might find that your breath stays more full and relaxed long after your practice is complete!

Situation Recommendation

We recommend doing all of these exercises in a comfortable seated position, potentially propped up with pillows and against a steady surface. Make sure that the space is quiet and that you will not be disturbed. If you feel comfortable doing it, close your eyes.

Box Breathing

Background: Box breathing is a classic calming and therapeutic exercise. 

How To: Inhale as you count to 4 slowly in your mind. Hold your breath for 4. Exhale to a count of 4. And repeat.

Once you’ve got that down, play with these more advanced box breathing techniques:

  • Count to 5, instead of 4
  • Add an additional breath-hold at the bottom of the exhale. So: inhale for 4, hold your breath for 4, exhale for 4. And continue.

Shodi nandana or Alternate Nostril Breathing

Background: Alternate nostril breathing is typically used as pranayama before asana

How To: Place your right thumb on your right nostril. Rest your first and second fingers on the crown of your nose. Hover your ring finger over your left nostril. Inhale through your left nostril. Plug both nostrils and hold your breath. Release your right nostril and exhale through it. Inhale through your right nostril. Plug both nostrils and hold your breath. Exhale through your left nostril. Inhale through the left nostril and continue with the breath cycle. Work on lengthening your breath with each round. Continue as long as you’d like!

Tactile Breathing

Background: Therapists often ask their clients to use their hands to feel how their body moves with breath or to “direct” breath to certain parts of the body. 

How to: Tactile breath can be done any way you need. Simply rest your hands on a part of your body that feels stuck, pained, or otherwise calls for your attention. Breath deeply into that space. Here are some common examples:

  • Place one hand on your lower belly and one hand on your lower back. Try to move both hands with your breath.
  • Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Inhale to the belly, exhale to the heart. (By the way, this is a common breath practice for savasana).
  • Place your hands on the front of your ribcage. Feel your fingers and ribs expand and contract with the breath. After some time here, move your hands to the back of your ribs and do the same.
  • Place both hands on your belly, relax your belly into your hands, and notice how the belly expands and contracts with breath.

Ujjayi Pranayama

Background: This style of breath is often misunderstood as a “calming” breath. In fact, it is a controlled technique that helps us to become alert and focused.

How To: Close and relax your lips. Relax the back of your throat so that your back teeth are apart. Rest the tip of your tongue on the top of your mouth. Breath only through your nose, drawing breath to the base of the spine and back up.

Spinal Breathing

Background: As one of the most auspicious and classic forms of breathwork, this is a great way to start a yoga session or meditation.

How To: Sitting tall with your spine long, relax the muscles in your abdomen, shoulders, and face. As you inhale, see a white light moving from your nose down your spine. Allow the white light to pool at the base of the spine as your inhale slows. Exhale the white light back up your spine and out the crown of your head, leaving a little bit of the white light inside. Each inhale breath creates more white light at the base of the spine; each exhale gives more back into the world.

Breathwork Volume and Frequency

Now that you’ve got some breathing techniques to practice, the question is: how often should you do them, and for how long?

Only you know the answer to that question! The repetition volume, length, and style of diaphragmatic breathing techniques vary immensely. Many people suggest a short daily practice (five to 20 minutes long). Some studies show results with just one day of focused effort. Some involve months-long interventions, weeks-long online practices, or just one week. Here are a couple of timing examples for reference:

  • Study 1: 8 weeks of mindfulness-based stress reduction yielded a larger effect on attention than just one month 
  • Study 2: 30 minutes of breathwork daily with a skilled instructor yields benefits

The good news is that breathwork works, even in small doses. 

So start small: look at your schedule and identify the days and times when you might be able to sit and breathe in peace. Start with as many as make sense to you. After you get used to the practice, re-evaluate. Have you noticed changes? Do your mind and body crave more? Should you mix it up, like adding yoga to your practice? This mindful reflection on your breathing is key to bliss! (Or, as they say in yoga, ananda).

***





Source link

Yoga Fitness in 3 Ways

Yoga Fitness in 3 Ways


The body is built to move, so most exercise is healthy and beneficial. Yoga is one of the least intense and most unique forms of fitness. Many potential or current yogis ask: “Can you get fit and toned from yoga?” Here, we explore how yoga helps you stay fit.

1. Yoga for Fitness: A Yoga Workout

While yoga alone can help someone get in shape, this is highly dependent on your current fitness level, the style of yoga, and the intensity or frequency of yoga sessions. 

Launching A Fitness Lifestyle

Yoga is a great way to launch a fitness journey, especially if you’re new to exercise or out-of-shape. Yoga activates and exercises every muscle in the body, burning calories and strengthening muscles. Someone new to yoga or exercise may see noticeable changes within weeks, no matter the type or intensity of yoga.

Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes flow.

And that’s what the new Discover Yoga Series on the adidas Training app is all about: bringing you to your flow state. Perfection doesn’t matter: whether you’re new to the practice or a seasoned yogi, our 8-week series puts you on the path to grace, mobility, and bliss. From pranayama to vinyasa, OM to namaste, our professional yoga instructor leads you through every pose. All you need is a mat, a sense of curiosity, and a desire to get stronger, from the inside out. Get your flow on!

Yoga For Strength or Aerobic Training

Those who regularly work out may also notice changes in their fitness when practicing yoga, especially if they set clear goals for their practice. People who regularly strength-train should do cardio yoga versus runners who can do yoga to increase strength. Here are more details on what kind of yoga to do and why:

  • Bikram yoga is a challenging style of yoga done in a sweltering room. It has been proven to help people increase the weight that they could deadlift.(1) And, it might help with cardiovascular wellness because of heart rate elevation due to heat. 
  • Yoga that involves holding challenging poses for a long time will increase strength. Staying in a pose until you feel muscle fatigue is the key to building more muscle. Styles like Ashtanga and Power yoga naturally integrate these kinds of isometric contractions.
  • Fast-flowing styles of yoga, like Vinyasa yoga, can boost cardiovascular endurance and strength. First, learn a series of poses and then link them together (typically, one breath, one movement). Beware: certain yoga poses are dangerous when linked improperly in a flow. It’s best to learn a yoga flow from trained practitioners. 

Older adults are especially likely to gain cardiovascular benefits from yoga(2). So invite Grandma to join you! And even if you do not see a marked increase in your running splits, yoga is proven to improve overall cardiovascular health.(3) Your lungs will feel healthier!

Yoga For Flexibility

While being flexible will not help you lose weight or build muscle, it is a measure of fitness and physical health. One study showed that a regular yoga practice increased the flexibility of computer users specifically. Even a simple and short chair yoga session can make you more flexible, especially when you do it frequently.

If your sole goal is to increase flexibility and range of motion, you’ll need to do yoga at least two times per week. If you want certain parts of your body to become more flexible (for instance, your hamstrings or lower back), you’ll need to hold a static, relaxed stretch with that specific part of the body for at least five total minutes a week. You could hold the stretch for 2.5 minutes in two different sessions or 5 minutes in one session.(4) Yin yoga is one type of yoga that involves long-hold, relaxed static stretches. 

2. Yoga As A Complement To Other Styles of Fitness

For people who already exercise frequently, yoga may not significantly impact strength or cardiovascular health. But it can make your other training sessions better. Here’s how.

Yoga For Injury Avoidance

As discussed in our blog post about yoga for back pain, yoga is a scientifically-proven way to relieve back pain related to injury or chronic pain.(5) A regular yoga practice may make your back healthier overall, reducing the risk of back injury in other sports.

A lack of balance often causes blunt force injuries in sports. Yoga helps you to become more balanced, potentially helping avoid trips, falls, or collisions.(6) Tripping over dumbbells is one of the most common gym-based injuries. Yoga can help! (As can properly re-racking your weights, but gym etiquette deserves its blog post…)

Yoga For Body Awareness

Yoga increases general body awareness. Knowing where our body is in space is called kinesthetic awareness. Knowing where it is in relation to itself is called proprioception. These skills are critical components of effective movement. When we have a natural awareness of where our body is, we ensure better form and function. Body awareness helps us feel if our deadlift form is proper, how high to lift a knee when climbing stairs, and if our shoulders are over our elbows in plank. When you practice yoga, you’ll learn enough about your body to make the rest of your workouts more targeted and effective. Flexibility, coordination, and mobility are all skills learned in yoga to make the rest of your activities more effective.

Interestingly, scientists have found that yoga reduces inflammation in the body, but they don’t understand why. Some posit that it’s due to body awareness; something about feeling very connected to one’s body serves as a natural anti-inflammatory.(7)

Yoga For Mobility

Flexibility occurs when a muscle expands in a passive, usually static position. Mobility is a group of muscles’ ability to expand integrally while in motion. Mobility is dynamic and active eccentric muscle contraction, whereas flexibility is passive and eccentric.(8) Mobility is the ability to move in and out of stretches with grace and sometimes with force. Less intense styles of yoga, like Yin yoga, help with flexibility. More movement-focused styles of yoga, like Vinyasa and Ashtanga, help with mobility.

Yoga for Mobility

Interestingly, both passive yoga and more mobility-focused yoga help release muscle tension. Mobility training stimulates the nerves that contract muscles while lengthening them and the tissues surrounding them (i.e., fascia). Blood flow increases to the mobilized space, joint range of motion increases, and tension subsides.(9) Because the movements are controlled and span multiple body parts, yoga builds coordination and an intrinsic understanding of stabilization.

Yoga for Athlete’s Recovery

Flexibility training that involves holding passive stretches (like yoga) can reduce sensations caused by the nervous system in that area. In other ways, yoga can help make physical feelings of soreness, pain, and burn to subside. That’s one reason why many athletes save yoga for after a training session, especially if muscles are inflamed or sore.(10)

3. Yoga For Mental Health: A Mind-Body Exercise

Yoga is proven to have more beneficial mental health impacts than other kinds of exercise.(11) You won’t burn as many calories as a run or build as much muscle as a barbell strength workout. But you will exercise your mind-body connection in a yoga class, and this may be the greatest exercise of them all.

Yoga For Positive Psychology

Stretching is proven to decrease cortisol levels in the body and has positive psychosocial outcomes, whether you do it independently or in a group class.(12) Women, in particular, are less likely to objectify themselves and less likely to suffer from an eating disorder when they practice yoga.(13)

Yoga: A Mindfulness Phenomenon

While mindfulness is a term thrown around often in popular culture, it carries actual psychological benefits. Mindfulness is a quality of non-judgmental, observational focus on one’s current experience. Being mindful means feeling curious, experiential, open, and accepting of one’s current state. Mindful people are proprioceptive and interceptive; they use their senses to interpret their bodies and their world. Very mindful people become more in-tune with their interpretations, beliefs, memories, conditioning, attitudes, and affect on the planet.

Yoga is considered a mind-body therapy that teaches the practitioner mindfulness. Yogis often feel more confident in their public and private interactions. Scientists who study yoga even call it a “mindfulness phenomenon.”(14)

How Does Yoga Help You To Stay Fit?

If you’re getting started with or back into exercise, yoga will help you build muscle and cardiovascular health. If you already work out, yoga can complement your current training, making it more effective and less likely to cause injury. Finally, yoga helps everyone stay mentally fit.

***





Source link