Got Belly Fat? Squat more sit less. Follow along as I share with you some of my anti-aging tips from my Doctor Lynn’s Anti-Aging Yoga Dance online class.
A study comparing the daily activities of modern-day Tanzanian hunter gathers found that while they spent similar amounts of sedentary time throughout the day as people living in more industrialized societies, what they didn’t do was sit. Instead, they squatted. And this 20%-time of squatting contributes to their lower rate of heart disease. Researchers found that not only are the legs stronger and the muscles more active during squatting than sitting, but also squatting increase the production of an enzyme called lipase that breaks down triglycerides.
Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. Eat too many fatty foods or too many calories and they get stored in the fat cells and don’t get released. You then risk heart disease and diabetes; two major concerns when it comes to aging.
Excess fat contributes to belly fat. Yes, we get belly fat because of a poor diet, lack of exercise, and hereditary issues, but most all of these have a direct link to stress. In these trying times everyone is feeling stressed and that stress just might be the cause of excess fat around the middle.
When we are stressed the body produces cortisol a steroid hormone that helps the body cope and deal with the effects of being stressed. When we feel threatened our body releases cortisol and this has an impact on metabolism. Cortisol causes excess calories to remain around the belly area. This is the body’s way of protecting itself when it needs to either fight or take flight. It takes extra energy to fight stress so the body stores fat for later use. This is nature’s way of making sure we survive. However, our stress today is not about being chased by a saber tooth tiger, but rather the chaos of the world and this chaos does not have an outlet like running away or fighting back to burn off the excess fat, and so we sit absorbed in stress and keep the stored fat.
People often reach for comfort food when they feel stressed, and cortisol forms stress causing the excess calories to remain around the belly and other areas of the body for later use. The problem is we don’t use it. Squatting releases lipase which breaks down triglycerides making it easier for us to release unneeded fat storage. Now we can’t just do a few squats a day to solve the problem of excess belly fat. We also need to add a healthy diet and exercise, as well as stress management. But we can sit less and squat more.
When we feel emotional it can feel like our feet are off the ground. Squats not only help us break down triglycerides, but they remind us to locate our center and get grounded; for if you truly wish to be open and soar through life, you need to quiet your emotions, take that moment to gather your strength and balance, ground yourself to the earth, and then lift from the squat and soar on the gentle winds of life.
Squat when you brush your teeth. Squat to pick things up and when doing the laundry. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to squat more and sit less.It’s good for successfully anti-aging the body, the mind and the soul.
Catch my next blog, “Which fruit will strengthen your bones and your relationships?”
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