What tyre? The tyre around your mid-section, the one that seems to increase with age. But how? Well there are a number of reasons that you can develop a tyre around your mid-section – hormones, diet, exercise etc. and this needs further examining by a health professional. But ONE of the reasons that prompts your body to store fat around your mid-section is STRESS. Studies show that cortisol the ‘stress hormone’ promotes the body to pad your waistline, this is because the fat cells in this area have more receptors for cortisol than any other cells in the human body. So what’s the answer – well ‘Stress Less’ but how? Well I am not about to tell you how to STRESS LESS as we all have different ways to unwind. But here’s a few things you can do to cut down on ‘CORTISOL ELEVATORS’. Cut back on alcohol and stimulants such as coffee. Get enough sleep but most importantly practice DEEP BREATHING. Not only does deep breathing reduce stress (cortisol levels) but one study showed that those that practiced deep breathing burned more calories than riding an exercise bike! You can do this anywhere, at your desk, in the car, on your way to work or while watching TV – so no excuses. Practice 3-4 times a day.
- Breathe in, through the nose, for 4 seconds (counting in your head).
- Hold the breath for 6 seconds (count in your head again)
- Using your whole body, exhale strongly, through the mouth for 8 seconds. (Even though you may blow out the air in your lungs quicker but try to dig deep and keep exhaling!)