When you think to yourself, “What are the best exercises to lose weight?” What comes
to mind? Weight lifting? Running? Zoomba? But, have you ever thought about using
Qigong for weight loss?
How does the body lose weight?
For our bodies to lose weight, the first thing that needs to happen is the creation of a caloric deficit. Simply put, we need to expend more calories than we take in on a given day.
Each of us has a basic amount of calories that we need to eat each day to satisfy our
basic physiological needs and stay healthy. This is referred to as our Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR). This calculates to roughly ten times your body weight for women and twelve times your body weight for men.
Average woman 130lbs x 10 = 1300 calories BMR
Average man 180lbs x 12 = 2160 calories BMR
This would account for the total amount of calories you would need to run your organs
like your heart and lungs, as well as the different bodily systems like digestion or menstruation, if you laid in bed all day and did nothing.
Then added to that, you would need to calculate your energy expenditure for the things you did throughout your day, such as;
- your job
- your work out
- cleaning and other physical things you do around the house
By adding all these together you would get a rough estimate as to the total number of
calories that you burned off in a day. The mayo clinic has a great calorie counter to figure this out.
Once you have figured out how many calories you need to eat in a day based on your
individual needs, next you need to decide how much weight you want to lose, and how
fast you want to lose it.
Healthy and sustainable weight loss is around 1-2 pounds a week. Any more than that is not healthy. One pound is equivalent to 3500 calories. So to lose one pound a week,
you need to create a deficit of 3500 calories a week. This would mean eating 500
calories less each day, or burning 500 calories extra each day.
500 calories a day x 7 days = 3500 calories (1 pound) a week
Is it effective to use Qigong for weight loss?
Every physical movement that our body performs requires energy. That energy comes
from the food we eat. Fundamentally, that means it doesnʼt matter what physical
movements you chose to use to burn calories. All that matters is the math. Calories in and calories out.
Whether you choose to do an intense workout that burns 300 calories in a half-hour or a low-intensity workout that burns the same in an hour, all that matters is the total calories burned.
Whichever workout you chose to do each day, at the end of the week you would still
have burned the same 3500 calories, equating to one pound of weight loss.
How many calories do you burn doing Qigong?
So can you use qigong for weight loss? The simple answer is…..absolutely! Take that
average adult male for example. He would burn around 300 calories if he went jogging
for 30 minutes. However, that same guy would burn 300 calories practicing Qigong
for an hour.
Whether he did seven runs a week, or seven qigong routines, the resulting caloric expenditure and weight loss would be the same.
What does qigong do for the body?
When it comes to the benefits of Qigong caloric expenditure is only the tip of the iceberg. The diaphragmatic breathing used in Qigong practice has a powerful effect on digestion by way of the peristaltic stimulation that promotes movement through the digestive tract.
A more efficient digestive process means better absorption of nutrients as well as
the elimination of waste. All of this increases that bodyʼs ability to burn instead of store calories.
In addition, Qigong movements challenge the body to move through large ranges of motion and often include complex and dynamic choreography. This stimulates better posture and joint stability which translates to major decreases in joint and muscle pain.
How do the mental effects of Qigong help with weight loss
Stress is not only killing us, but it is definitely making us fatter! Our work, phone, computer, traffic, taxes, relationships, yes even Netflix, are all contributing to the non-stop stressful stimulus that our body is under on a daily basis.
All the stress is literally changing us on a genetic level. It affects the daily function of our cells as well as their proper and efficient replication.
We constantly feel like we are under attack from some unseen aggressor, and that
a constant state of fight or flight is literally burning out our adrenal glands and shutting down our metabolism.
This is where seated meditation, as well as moving meditation practice such as Qigong, is the
right tool for the job. Meditative practices calm the nervous system and return the body to a parasympathetic state where it is able to “rest, digest and heal”.
How often can you do qigong?
Because the movements of Qigong are soft, slow and gentle, they can be practiced on a daily basis without detrimental effect. This might make you worry that you would get bored doing the same workout so often, but that's just not the case at all.
There are thousands of Qigong exercises(BMQ app) as well as thousands of accredited systems to learn. You could learn a new set every week of your life and never learn them all.
There are Qigong exercises that focus on strengthening different organs or relieving
different damaging emotions. There are exercises for joint and muscle pain and dysfunction.
There are even exercises for different medical conditions such as high blood pressure, constipation, or insomnia. Due to the fact that Qigong has developed over thousands of years, the body of healing exercise information is almost limitless.
Whether you decide to use Qigong exclusively as your mode of exercise, or you
incorporate it into your workout schedule a few times a week, the healing benefits will astound you. It has the power to heal your anxious mind, your troubled heart, your sore back….. and yes….. even trim your waistline.
All you need to do… is give Qigong for weight loss a try.
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