Linh keeps a slim waist by practicing belly breathing. Photo courtesy of Linh

Linh keeps a slim waist by practicing belly breathing. Photo courtesy of Linh

The first thing Linh does after waking up every day is "belly breathing," a practice that involves inhaling, holding the breath, and exhaling from her abdomen instead of her chest.

One reason Linh has become a skillful belly breather is her several years of working as a professional TV host, an occupation that often requires her to talk for hours without resting.

For her breathing practice, Linh first stands up straight, but comfortably, to let her abdominal cavity extend as much as possible.

She then relaxes her diaphragm and puts her hands on her waist, with her two thumbs placed on her backside and the rest of her fingers towards her stomach. She takes a deep breath and lets her abdominal muscles bulge while her diaphragm tightens with the air flowing into her body. Finally, she slowly exhales the air through her teeth, letting her abdominal muscles pull inward while keeping her shoulders still.

To boost the effects of the exercise, Linh loudly pronounces the vowels "a, o, u, e, i" or counts out loud while she breathes. She opens her mouth wide and tries to say each sound as clearly as possible.

This breathing technique is used by many hosts, singers, speakers, and politicians to create a charming, powerful, and sustainable voice that can go for several consecutive hours.

But Linh has seen another benefit: it also helps her burn fat, which she said has helped her maintain her waist measurement at 60 cm for years.

Linh said she has maintained her hourglass figure with a special breathing technique. Photo courtesy of Linh

Linh said she has maintained her hourglass figure with a special breathing technique. Photo courtesy of Linh

From a health-oriented point of view, the technique has many benefits.

Dr. Ngo Quang Hai said belly breathing enhances diaphragm function, and thus improves the respiratory system as a whole. It helps increase lung volume and optimizes the amount of inhaled and exhaled air, which results in more oxygen absorbed by the body, which in turn significantly improves cardiovascular and respiratory system functions. Belly breathing also reduces the risk of infectious diseases, according to the doctor.

The technique also helps decrease intra-abdominal pressure, and thus lowers blood pressure, protects the cardiovascular system, and enhances the metabolism process. Hence, this technique is recommended for people with obesity, according to health and medical experts.

Requiring the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles to work at the same time, belly breathing helps reduce waistline measurements, especially when combined with proper diet plans, doctors have argued.

Linh said belly breathing can be challenging at first, and she herself encountered hardships practicing the technique at first. She used to breathe with her chest, which resulted in exhaling from her thoracic cavity instead of from her abdominal cavity. As a result, her voice was mostly executed in her throat and larynx, which caused damages to her larynx.

But she did not give up and assumed the habit of spending 10 minutes every morning practicing. Thanks to her commitment, she has now mastered the technique. Speaking while breathing deeply has since even become an instinctual reflex, helping her feel comfortable instead of tired when she has to speak for hours.

Another noteworthy benefit of deep breathing and speaking with air from her belly is that Linh has a more healthy throat now, whereas she used to catch throat-related illnesses easily before.

To enhance her health in general, she also practices yoga frequently, and she also follows a "clean eating" diet and intermittent fasting methods at the same time. The combination of these techniques helps her build and maintain her muscles and endurance, as well as have a flexible body.



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