5 Heart-Health Benefits of Meditation and Yoga
Your mobile phone is ringing, your kids can’t wait to see you in the evening, and your boss wants to give you the next assignment. There’s just so much to handle each day. Stress and anxiety seem to be everywhere. Why don’t you get some time off and give yoga and meditation a try? Yoga is an ancient practice that incorporates meditation, breathing exercises, and physical poses designed to lower the heart rate, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and encourage relaxation.
The mind-body practice has been shown to provide significant health benefits, including improvements in mood and energy, reduced stress and anxiety, weight reduction, reduced heart rate, and increased flexibility. Here’s how yoga and meditation can benefit your heart health.
Yoga and Meditation helps you Manage Stress
As mentioned, yoga incorporates or rather focuses on controlled breathing, meditation, and physical poses which promote relaxation and ease stress. Stress has been shown to encourage behaviors that elevate heart disease risk. Such include overeating, heavy drinking, physical inactivity, and smoking. Multiple studies have shown that, when used alone or with other relaxation techniques, such as meditation, yoga can decrease the secretion of the stress hormone-cortisol. As a result, you get to experience lower levels of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Yoga and Meditation may Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has been shown to lead to stroke, heart attacks, and other heart problems. Studies show that yoga and meditation can lower blood pressure and pulse rate hence reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It’s, therefore, important that you incorporate yoga and meditation into your healthy lifestyle.
Yoga Promote Physical Activity
One of the risk factors for developing heart disease is lack of exercise. The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that heart disease is the number one killer disease in the United States. People who practice yoga and meditation are more likely to adopt healthy eating habits and stay physically active, according to research. According to the American Heart Association, you should perform at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day to improve your heart health.
Yoga and Meditation may Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation has been shown to encourage the development of pro-inflammatory diseases like cancer and the heart disease. Some studies show that practicing yoga, whether alone or with other relaxation techniques, helps to lower the level of inflammatory markers in the body. It, therefore, helps protect the body against certain diseases that develop as a result of chronic inflammation.
Yoga and Meditation Could Promote Sleep Quality
Sleep deprivation and deficiency have been associated with depression, stress, high blood pressure, anxiety, and obesity. Studies show that practicing yoga and meditation can help promote better sleep. Yoga has been shown to not only reduce sleep disturbances but also improve sleep duration and quality. The mind-body practice increases the secretion of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating wakefulness and sleep. With improved sleep quality, you get to have lower blood pressure and reduced stress and anxiety- all which improve your heart health.
Incorporating yoga and meditation in your routine can help enhance your overall health. It’s important that you find time to practice yoga and meditation a few times per week.