If you’re feeling pretty beat, jumping into a quick 15-minute HIIT workout likely doesn’t sound too appealing. Great news: You can experience hormetic stress in a variety of ways (we’ve outlined them all here), including breathwork practices. “[Breathwork] practices are the single fastest and most powerful way to improve energy levels,” Whitten explains.
Again, intermittent hypoxia (or brief moments of oxygen hunger) can strategically stress your mitochondria and stimulate their growth. Whitten suggests some simple breath holds: “You start with something very gentle, maybe a couple of breath holds where you’re holding an inhale only holding for 15 or 20 seconds, and then you can work your way up,” he explains. Or you can try your hand at fire-breathing, where you breathe in and out through the nose, quickly pumping the belly, for about 30 to 50 breaths.
There’s no shortage of breathwork exercises for you to try—here are seven of our favorites, if you’re curious. “There’s a lot you can work toward, but if you do it even for a month, I’ve seen really dramatic transformations in people’s energy levels just from this one practice,” Whitten adds.