So it’s a new year, which means that millions (billions?) of people across the world have resolved to get into better shape. While I don’t personally do resolutions, per se, I have decided that I am going to make this the year that I lose weight and start feeling better about myself. It has nothing to do with the 1st of the year and everything to do with the fact that my little brother’s wedding is a mere 9 months away, and I want to look good.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using this neat little contraption called Breathslim. It kind of reminds me of the incentive spirometers we had to use in nursing school, but a little different. It’s based on the concept that by bringing more oxygen into your body, and therefore your cells, you can boost your metabolism and create a better overall internal environment.

We all know that we need oxygen to survive, and that our cells need it to perform vital functions. Breathing is an involuntary function for the most part (barring any medical complications), so we don’t really spend a whole lot of time thinking about it. Yoga masters and other natural practitioners have touted the benefits of deep, abdominal breathing for ages, but if you’re a novice to the whole concept, it can be difficult to get it just right. I always forget to breathe during yoga, which totally defeats the exercises’ purposes.

The Breathslim DVD teaches you how to use the device to perform deep, abdominal breathing, while the device itself keeps you on track with the proper method. There are a few important rules to remember when using it:

— Always sit with your back straight during exercising;
— Pay attention to correct abdominal (yoga) breathing. When inhaling, your stomach should move forward.
— Start exercising at least two hours after meal. To reach maximum results: exercise in the evening 2 hours after last meal before going to bed.

If you can do those three things, you can use the Breathslim device to help you lose weight. For me, though, the main benefit was that it really helped me focus on my breathing. I’m a high-strung person by nature, and during the holiday season I am prone to massive panic attacks. Especially this holiday season, when I had so much going on in my life. Using the Breathslim device helped me take a moment to just calm down and breathe. It also helped me sleep better. As to weight-loss, I can’t really make any claims there because although I did lose 8 pounds during December, I wasn’t eating much, was far more active, and had a stomach bug for a few days. But I’ll definitely keep using it because it may have had something to do with the weight-loss, and it does help me in other ways.