Smorgasbord Health Column – Project 101 – Resilience – Weight Loss Hack No 2 – Improving lung function No 2, Musical Therapy by Sally Cronin

Yesterday I shared a way to make some small changes to your diet that would save you 30lbs of body fat a year without causing too much effort.  Today another tactic I used when I was losing my own 150lbs and found bathroom scales accurate but not always motivating.

And it is motivation and making progress with weight loss and toning up that makes all the difference, especially if you need to lose more than a stone in weight.

I was size 32 UK when I started and wore tent like dresses and skirts. I saw a black velvet dress with a cream satin trim and small straps in a size 18 that I fell in love with. It was expensive at the time in 1996 at £75 but I took the plunge and bought it. It hung on the outside of my wardrobe in a clear plastic cover in my bedroom for the next 18 months, and it was the first thing I saw when I got up in the morning.

I would get it out of its wrapper once a week and hold it up against me in the mirror. I did this for about a year, and then I had lost sufficient weight to get it up as far as my hips.. and I then tried it on every week until 6 months later I wore it for the first time. I had visualised myself in that dress so many times and it was the most amazing feeling when it finely fit. I don’t have a photo of me in my dress but here is one with another little black number that I used to wear when I was in my early 30s which was a size 16 and fitted after 2 years of my eating programme.

I am not suggesting that you head out and spend a fortune on an expensive outfit, but I do believe that if you are anything like me.. and this applies to the men reading this too, that at the back of the wardrobe, or in a storage box, is a favourite dress, suit, pair of trousers, skirt or a top that you loved to wear and no longer fits. It might be one size too small or several.

Take it out and wash, iron or have dry cleaned, and put on a hangar somewhere you can see it every day. Then as soon as you feel you have lost a few pounds, begin to try the outfit on once a week until it fits again. I still do this as I have a pair of white trousers that I intend to be wearing by the end of June that are just a little too snug for comfort.

Now time for part two of the exercises to help improve your lung function..

For an action that is so vital to our existence, you will be surprised to find that very few people actually breathe efficiently and are not maintaining adequate lung function. By the end of the first week you should notice a difference in the ease with which you complete the exercises and also when you are active.

The aim is to increase the flexibility and the capacity of your lungs, giving them a better chance of fighting off infection.

Yesterday I shared the morning exercise to get you ready for the day.. and today one to help you get rid of the day’s toxins and get a better night’s sleep.

Evening exercise

Lie down on your back on the floor. If you suffer with lower back pain, better to have your knees resting up over on sofa or chair. If your head doesn’t relax onto the ground easily, use a cushion.

Start with hands on lower belly, fingers pointing down to groin. Notice how you are breathing. The breath reflects our mental, physical and emotional state.

After several minutes consciously encourage the beginning of the breath into the belly to feel the hands rise with the inhale and relax down with the exhale. So you are using the abdomen to breath. This in good health should happen spontaneously, but all too often with stress many people breath only using the upper chest.

Do this for several minutes, then place the arms out in a cross, shoulder height with palms up. Now there is more room to take the breath up into the middle lungs, feel the movement of the rib cage outwards and upwards. But you still begin each breath down deep in the belly. Do this for several minutes, relaxing the body on the exhale.

Last of all, slide the arms higher up above your head relaxing on the floor, if you cannot do this due to tension or injury, leave them where they were in a cross. The purpose of this move is to now bring more space and awareness to the upper chest towards the base of the throat. There is little movement here compared to the ribs, but you can feel the rising of the chest and collarbone to the throat and chin at the peak of the inhale, just before you exhale.

So you now have 3 places to breathe into, the abdomen, the ribs and the upper chest to make one long, deep, satisfying breath. Feel each of the 3 places as the breath flows up the trunk as one long wave. As you exhale the wave retreats back down to the lower abdomen. Remember to feel the slight pause between inhales and exhales, but don’t hold your breath.

Try and practice this for at least 5 minutes, but 10 is better. It also helps improve your posture with the back flat and the arms out.

More details on the lungs and their function can be found in more detail here: The Lungs

Get moving with Music Therapy

One of the perks of being a radio presenter was being asked to MC charity events and my job was to warm everyone up before the walk or race with some motivational music… over the course of these posts I will be sharing my playlist for those events and to help build your resilience and improve physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Give yourself a break after reading this post and get up and get moving.

If you are not particularly active at the moment then you can walk on the spot, but swing your arms in time to the music so that you activate your breathing. If you are a little bit more adventurous then take to the floor and have fun – Here is Tina Turner and she is a role model for all of us who want to still be a rock chic in our 80s…strut your stuff and be Simply the Best.

And if it motivates you even more, imagine what I look like chopping carrots and bopping in my kitchen to some of her hits…..

Uploaded by theravenphoenix665

Buy Tina Turner music: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

Next week, three more posts that I hope you will find useful as you boost your immune system, lung and heart functions, and your confidence. As always your feedback is very welcome.. thanks Sally

Here are the links to the pages that support the posts in the series

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-two years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: My books and reviews 2020

Statistic resource Worldometer – Live updates and breakdown by country Worldometer Info

14 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health Column – Project 101 – Resilience – Weight Loss Hack No 2 – Improving lung function No 2, Musical Therapy by Sally Cronin

  1. It’s an interesting theory of motivation to have a prized piece of your wardrobe in your room to remind you of your goals. I don’t even like to go clothes shopping, but it certainly is more fun when you’re shopping for smaller sizes.

    Liked by 1 person

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