February is American Heart Month. According to the National Institute of Health, there is a lot we can do to prevent heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. It’s important that we promote and adopt healthy lifestyles and work together to reach our heart healthy goals.
Yoga and mindfulness practices help improve strength, flexibility, balance, and relaxation, all components of improving heart health. According to Hugh Calkins, M.D., Director of Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Johns Hopkins, “ A large number of studies show that yoga benefits many aspects of cardiovascular health.”
Research suggests that the benefits of yoga and mindfulness may be a good lifestyle intervention because it may help lower heart rate, blood glucose levels, and blood pressure. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease and research also shows yoga might be beneficial in helping smokers quit. Yoga and mindfulness also help with muscle strength and flexibility as well as stress and anxiety reduction. Dr. Puja Mehta, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta stated, “There’s a huge body of literature that says psychosocial stressors such as work and marital stress, as well as anxiety and depression, are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.”
More Americans are gaining interest in yoga and mindfulness practices, according to the CDC, 14.3% of US adults prated Yoga in 2017, up from 9.5% in 2012. Both provide a non-competitive, equipment-free activity that works across socioeconomic boundaries to promote fitness. These techniques are proving to become more popular as this practice can be a family, friendly activity and can be practiced anywhere with little to no previous experience.
If you are interested in brief, family-friendly yoga and mindfulness videos, check out our website and create a free account – www.zenworkyoga.com
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