Everyday life is full of moments of stress, from work deadlines to family responsibilities. It can all pile up quickly and your body reacts to it. Your heart rate increases. Your blood vessels narrow. It is not healthy, especially over the long term. Research shows that chronic stress can be linked to heart disease. With American Heart Month upon us, it is a great time to review options to help improve your heart health.
Engaging in regular physical activity is essential for heart health. Yoga, even though it may not be as intense as some other forms of exercise, can contribute to overall physical fitness. Many take up the practice as a holistic approach to heart health and overall wellness. Other heart health benefits of yoga include:
- Stress Reduction: Lowering stress can positively impact blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga emphasizes mindfulness and relaxation through breathing exercises and meditation, resulting in lower stress levels.
- Lowered Blood Pressure: Certain yoga practices, such as gentle poses and deep breathing exercises, have been associated with reductions in blood pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, and managing it is crucial for heart health.
- Improved Circulation: Various yoga poses involve stretching and contracting muscles, which can enhance blood flow and circulation. This, in turn, supports heart health by ensuring that the cardiovascular system functions efficiently.
- Balance the Autonomic Nervous System: The autonomic nervous system is a network of nerves throughout your body that control unconscious processes, like your heart beating and breathing. Yoga practices, especially those involving controlled breathing, can help balance the autonomic nervous system. This balance is associated with better heart rate variability, which is a marker of heart health.
Engaging in yoga goes hand in hand with adopting a healthier lifestyle. Becoming more mindful of diet, sleep patterns, and overall well-being can collectively contribute to heart health. As the area’s original Hot Yoga studio, Yoga Body Shop is here to help you on your path to self-discovery, physical health and mental well-being. We offer a variety of yoga classes, for every level of practice and for every schedule. Visit our class schedule to kick off your heart health journey during this American Heart Month.