Belly fat breathing problems are a common reason people see their doctor, although often they haven’t made the link.
How Does Belly Fat Cause Breathing Problems?
Belly fat makes breathing more labour intensive and difficult according to a French study back in 2009 that looked at 120,000 people.
Your major breathing muscle is your diaphragm. This is a big sheet of muscle separating the contents of your chest, and the contents of your abdomen.
When your diaphragm contracts it comes down, and your belly moves out. This action expands your lungs and draws air in. This is really easy to see in babies and young children, because they tend to be predominantly diaphragmatic breathers.
The more abdominal fat you have the more difficult it is for your diaphragm to contract, because it’s working against the mechanical obstruction created by the fat.
This makes breathing hard work. It also restricts the amount your lungs can expand, and therefore the amount of oxygen you can take in. This leads to getting out of breath with sometimes very minimal physical effort.
Some people’s belly fat breathing problems get worse with laying down and bending over. These actions constrict the lungs expansion capacity even more.
Some people are carrying so much abdominal fat it pretty much totally impedes the diaphragm from working. When this is the case the muscles around the chest wall have to pick up that slack to expand the lungs so you can breathe.
Chest breathing requires more muscular effort than diaphragmatic breathing, so you tend to feel tired and out of breath very quickly with activity.
Overweight In Your Upper Body Too?
If you’re carrying a lot of excess weight on your chest as well – breathing is very hard work, because in addition to your diaphragm working against your belly, your chest muscles are working to lift the fat on your chest so you can take air in.
This makes breathing, which normal requires hardly any effort, quite difficult.
A whole day of working muscles hard just to breath causes fatigue, as well as belly fat breathing problems.
A Serious Problem
If you’ve got to the point that bending over to tie your shoe laces causes you to feel out of breath – you’re in real trouble with your health.
Belly fat isn’t just restricting your lungs, it’s putting enormous pressure on your heart too.
The sooner you do something about it the better, because it’s going to shorten your life one way or another.
Losing Belly Fat
The easiest way to lose weight is to turn on fat burning and you can do that without even exercising. It’s the best place to start if physical activity is uncomfortable at this stage.
I’ve recorded a class which takes you through the simple steps to do this – it’s simply learning how your physiology works and working with it instead of against it.
Have a great week!