What causes the Belly to Protrude?
Is your protruding belly hard when you poke it? Science says belly fat is 60% water, so shouldn't the belly hang down in a flabby fold if it's just fat? Hmmmm.
Why is the belly protruding and hard? A tumor? A baby? Or how about muscles? Assuming the first two options are not the case, it is your muscles that are making the belly protrude as if you are pregnant.
The muscles likely are doing even more damage. Are you losing height? If so, your muscles are causing the torso and spine to compress which is making you shorter and causing the belly to protrude even further.
Is your breathing becoming more shallow over time? Breathing using belly muscles leads to shallower, more strained breathing which can lead to high blood pressure, headaches, stress, and so much more.
How is your balance? Is it becoming more compromised as well? A protruding belly compels you to change how you balance in order to support the protrusion, which often leads to back pain along with many other balance issues.
Is it getting more difficult to do simple functions like bending over, or twisting to look around yourself? The big belly makes it quite difficult to function well in any activity.
Why We Breathe Incorrectly
The main culprit causing your expanding belly size is how you breathe. Almost no adult breathes using the muscle you were born to breathe with - the diaphragm. All over the internet are videos and images telling you how to breathe using the belly muscles. Here is an image telling you how to breathe. Try this. Breathe in by pushing the belly out. How did that feel?
The diaphragm is a muscle that works autonomously (such as when you are asleep), it can be consciously controlled (such as breathing a particular way in yoga), and it can be habituated to work non-consciously (such as habitual belly breathing).
Try the following quick test to see if you breathe from the diaphragm:
How To Breathe From The Diaphragm
Try this simple change and feel how to allow your diaphragm to do its job.
- Tuck the chin down and back so the neck and back spine aligns.
- Breathe in.
How did that feel?
Go back to your usual posture and breathe. That feels more familiar but how much air can you inhale?
Try tucking the chin, releasing your tongue from the roof of the mouth and throat, release your chest muscles, and breathe.
Which way of breathing feels like you get more air?
Now that you feel the difference, how can you habituate diaphragm breathing? There are a number of factors underlying why you have learned to breathe from the belly. They are what your brain needed to devise given the constraints you have been setting. To undo years of habits limiting the ability of the diaphragm to do its job is a process. It won't take years to undo, but it could take weeks or months, depending on how body aware you are and how motivated you are to breathe better.
The downside of continuing on the path of breathing more shallowly is that it leads to conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches, respiratory conditions and, as the belly continues to get bigger, more serious health conditions and threats.
Start today on your path to breathing as you evolved. Click here to get started.