No one wants to have a broken heart, whether in the literal or figurative/romantic sense. Sadly, heart problems (cardiovascular diseases) are the leading cause of death globally. According to the World Health Organization, this is the cause of death of an estimated 17.9 million people worldwide.
Thankfully, increased awareness of the importance of heart health has motivated more people to make important lifestyle choices to take better care of their tickers. If you are a yoga enthusiast like us, you will be happy to know that yoga improves heart health.
The heart is a hardworking organ that works nonstop. It is responsible for pumping blood to all body parts, carrying oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and other essential compounds humans need to function properly.
When you neglect the health of your heart, this can lead to serious problems like heart failure, a heart attack, stroke, and other complications. Many doctors encourage people to take very good care of their hearts by making sure their cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight are at healthy levels. Medical practitioners also recommend avoiding factors that can put heart health at risk.
Medical experts say that you can lower your risk of heart problems by making certain lifestyle changes.
Aside from being a practice that promotes balance and flexibility, yoga also involves meditation, relaxation, and breathing exercises. These help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, lessen inflammation, and improve sleep – essential factors to improve heart health.
It is also a form of exercise that can aid in managing weight, stress, and smoking cessation. Furthermore, it improves muscle strength, mind-body awareness, and exercise capacity.
An article from Harvard Health Publishing also reported that yoga is easy to modify and is less strenuous than many other types of exercise. This makes it a great option for those recovering from heart surgery or a heart attack undergoing cardiac rehabilitation.
Johns Hopkins director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service, Hugh Calkins, M.D., said that “Many studies show that yoga benefits many aspects of cardiovascular health. There’s been a major shift in the last five years or so in the number of cardiologists and other professionals recognizing that these benefits are real.”
The American Heart Association website also published an article discussing research indicating that yoga significantly impacted cardiometabolic factors. The results showed an improvement in the participants’ cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart rate.
While there is a need for more studies and findings to show how yoga improves heart health, more medical practitioners recognize that it is a helpful additional activity to other moderate-intensity exercises.
As with any other health issue, it is wise to consult your doctor to see if yoga will benefit you rather than increase your risks. You want to make sure you don’t worsen any cardiovascular problems, especially if you just had a heart attack or surgery.
Professional yoga teachers for heart health will always consider their students’ safety. They understand that certain poses and forms of yoga can be harmful to someone with heart problems and will usually recommend gentler practices, such as restorative yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Additionally, they will encourage students to start slow and carefully plan exercise sequences that are safe for those with heart conditions.
You are never too young or old to start taking better care of your heart health. If you are interested in knowing more about the health benefits of yoga and have been looking for a yoga studio near me, come and visit our Dawata Wellness studio.