As it turns out, yoga is more than just a stretch. Practising this form of meditation regularly can also help you prevent cardiovascular disease.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, yoga may help lower your cardiovascular disease risk as much as conventional exercise, such as brisk walking!
Read on to learn more about how yoga helps your heart.
Four ways that yoga lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease
#1: Yoga calms inflammation
Chronic inflammation is your body’s natural way of responding to injury or stress. According to Dr Hana Stastny, a medical doctor and yoga therapy indtsurctor at Mount Royal University, inflammation is also at the core of most pathologies, including cancer and (you guessed it) cardiovascular disease.
#2: Yoga promotes healthy blood pressure
The Heart and Stroke Foundation has reported that long-term high blood pressure can wreak serious havoc on your heart by damaging blood vessel walls. In time, this may lead to plaque build-up and narrow or block your arteries. Narrowed or blocked arteries is a leading cause of stroke and heart attack.
#3: Yoga lowers cortisol levels
When you’re stressed, your brain releases adrenaline into your system, which puts it into what’s known as the “fight or flight” mode. The result? Both your heart rate and blood pressure skyrockets. This response can help you protect yourself when you’re facing a threat, but if you’re constantly feeling stressed, it can take a toll on your cardiovascular system. Stress is another hallmark of heart problems like heart attack.
#4: Yoga improves flexibility and strength
Yoga promotes physical activity, which is brilliant for your heart. According to Dr Stastny, people who are inactive are at double the risk of having heart problems than those who do exercise. What’s more, yoga improves your flexibility and strength, which also enhances your heart health!
There you have it - four ways that yoga helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
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