Heart Disease in the U.S
When discussing matters of health and well-being, it’s important to get right to the heart of the matter. According to the facts presented by the CDC, “heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women,” and “coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people annually.” In the United States, a staggering 25% of all deaths are attributed to heart disease. Eye-opening statistics such as these provide all the more reason to be concerned with maintaining and improving cardiovascular health. Yoga, when practiced regularly, has proven to be remarkably beneficial for heart health.
The Effects of Yoga
Based on a study comparing numerous, peer-reviewed articles, evidence suggests that “in addition to the effects of yoga on mood disorders and stress reduction, yogic practices are shown to improve cardio-respiratory performance, psychological profile, and plasma melatonin levels and also significantly reduce systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and orthostatic tolerance.”
It is also mentioned that “yoga helps to improve cardiovascular efficiency” which means the body is better equipped to deliver needed oxygen throughout the body through the bloodstream. And for patients with coronary artery disease (the most common type of heart disease), “yoga based lifestyle modifications were also shown to aid in the regression of coronary lesions as well as to improve myocardial perfusion.” Another worthy finding depicts that “age-related deteriorations in cardiovascular functions are slower in persons who practice yoga regularly as yoga practitioners had lower heart rate as well as lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure than matched controls.”
Using Yoga to Treat the Heart
Evidence backing yoga as substantial means to treat and prevent heart disease continues to mount as the plethora of research increases each year. Beginning a regular practice or becoming more consistent with an already existing practice greatly improves cardiovascular health in addition to all of the other tremendous benefits. Heart disease is something that is mostly preventable, and by incorporating the right lifestyle changes we could see dramatic improvements in cardiovascular health moving forwards. If it’s good for the heart, then it’s good for the soul, and that’s why yoga is a great choice for anybody!