Good morning friends! Today I’m letting Richard Johnson of Cardio God take over the blog to tell us how good yoga is for our hearts. Enjoy! 🙂 -Erin
Can Yoga Improve Your Heart Health?
The history of yoga goes back to ancient India, when people practiced it to increase their spiritual insight and tranquility. Today, many Americans practice it in order to relax, improve flexibility, balance and muscle strength. It is done by slow stretching the body into a variety of poses while focusing on meditation and breathing.
It is an excellent activity for persons who haven’t exercised for years or for those individuals who aren’t very strong. Moreover, a research study published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, shows that yoga’s combination of stretching, breathing, gentle activity and mindfulness may help prevent or reverse heart disease.
Here is how yoga can improve your heart health:
- Yoga promotes physical activity. It is known that physical inactivity is a major risk factor for developing heart problems. Yoga, in its turn, increases flexibility, reduces weight and improves mood and energy. People who practice yoga are more likely to become active and stick to a fitness routine, which can protect their heart. A study published in Alternative Therapy Health Medicine figured out that previously inactive people who attended yoga classes twice per week were more likely to continue taking part in physical activities.
- Yoga beats stress. Emotional stress causes a number of physical effects, including the release of such hormones as adrenaline and cortisol, which narrow arteries and raise blood pressure. Relaxing the body and mind by deep breathing and mental focus of yoga can level this stress down. Due to this yoga’s ability to decrease the body’s response to stress, it also helps prevent hypertension.
- Yoga lowers blood pressure. Deep breathing exercises peculiar to yoga help slow the breathing rate down. Taking fewer but deeper breaths temporarily lowers blood pressure helping people with cardiovascular disease. A study published in American Journal of Hypertension suggests that yoga’s benefit here is a combination of stress reduction and improving physical fitness.
- Yoga reduces inflammation. Relaxation through yoga helps decrease stress-related inflammation that contributes to heart disease. The Psychosomatic Medicine Journal published a study, which showed that when people who practiced yoga regularly were exposed to stress, they had less of a blood compound linked to inflammation than entry-level practitioners.
- Yoga soothes an irregular heart rhythm. A small study published in American College of Cardiology linked yoga to a number of episodes experienced by people with atrial fibrillation. After the trial, the yoga practitioners had half the number of episodes they had before, as well as had lower blood pressure and slower heart rates.
- Yoga is a heart booster. Besides off-loading stress, reducing blood pressure, inflammation and heart rate, yoga helps lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, making it a healthy lifestyle intervention.
Yoga can be practiced by anyone, including obese people, diabetics, patients with heart failure and all sorts of cardiovascular issues. You don’t need a prescription for it. Nevertheless, some patients at high risk may need to start their classes with a cardiac medical yoga instructor.
BIO: Richard Johnson is an expert writer and blogger with a strong passion for writing. He specializes on health issues and writes articles for www.CardioGod.com. CardioGod provides readers with the latest and greatest content on cardiovascular health. Connect with CardioGod through Twitter.
See? Yoga is good for your heart! Give it a try today!