In the United States 1 in every 4 deaths result from heart disease. Every year over 700,000 people have a heart attack. Coronary heart disease is estimated to cost over $100 billion every year. This amount includes lost productivity, health care services, medications and more. Medical experts are realizing the many heart health benefits associated with doing yoga. When combined with a healthy lifestyle doing yoga for heart health has provided impressive results.
It is accepted that yoga can be utilized as a tool to improve heart health. It can also be used as a preventative measure with people who are at a high risk for a cardiac event. People who regularly do yoga have experienced lower blood pressure, improvement in their respiratory abilities, heart rate and more. Individuals have experienced an overall better sense of well-being, as well as developing more strength in their bodies.
Decrease Emotional Stress
Experiencing regular emotional stress will cause plaque to build up much faster in a heart’s coronary arteries. A person’s coronary arteries will also constrict in reaction to stress. This decreases the flow of blood to a person’s heart. The platelets in a person’s blood will also become stickier. This increases the risk of blood clots forming and causing a heart attack. When a person does yoga, it will relax them and increase their ability to handle stress. Individuals are better able to diffuse their negative emotions such as anger, impatience, hostility and more. This helps to improve their heart function.
Heart Healthy Workout
There is evidence that an exercise program consisting of low intense workouts can provide major cardiac benefits. The exercises that involve deep-breathing are able to decrease a person’s breathing rate. Taking fewer breaths that are deeper can temporarily lower blood pressure. This has been shown to calm the sympathetic nervous system. This is a system in the body designed to create stress hormones. Yoga poses and meditations provide a heart healthy exercise for many people with cardiovascular disease.
The goal of this type of yoga is to develop a balance between a person’s body and mind. Meditation as well as breathing exercises will be utilized. This is considered a natural way to heal a body that has heart disease. The poses used for cardiac yoga are called asanas. They are slightly modified and work better with people who have cardiac issues. It is designed to help a person focus on their breathing techniques and developing flexibility in certain areas of their body. With cardiac yoga, a person can do the sun salutation as they sit in a chair if necessary. In time, a person can advance to using the back of the chair for doing cardiac yoga. Eventually, an individual will no longer need support to perform a yoga pose.
A study conducted at Ohio State University included men and women with little experience practicing yoga, and others who were considered experts. Cytokines are proteins produced by the cells in a body. They help regulate the body’s response to disease. Increased levels of cytoking IL-6 elevates inflammation in a person’s body. Inflammation contributes to a variety of age-related diseases such as heart disease. The study demonstrated that practicing yoga on a regular basis reduces a person’s level of cytokine IL-6. This decreases the amount of inflammation in a person’s body. Yoga was shown to improve heart rate variability and increase heart health.