- Regular exercise is the key to stay fit
- Yoga and exercise and boost heart function
- For better heart health consume a healthy diet
World Heart Day is observed on every 29 September to create awareness about the steps to maintain a healthy heart. Heart health requires some extra attention and healthy practices. From a healthy diet to regular exercise there are various healthy practices you need to follow to preserve your heart health. Regular exercise is the key to stay fit and the most natural way to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Similarly, yoga also can help in supporting a healthy heart. Both yoga and exercise supports the functioning of the heart. They also reduce the other risk factors which can trigger the risk of heart diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels and many more.
World Heart Day: Exercises and yoga tips to keep heart healthy
Exercise and a healthy heart
The more active you are the better is your heart health. Exercise ensures better circulation of blood and helps in the smooth functioning of the heart. Exercise also kills the various risk factors which increase the risk of heart diseases. Obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, stress and bad cholesterol levels are some the major risk factors which can be controlled with exercise.
Best exercises for heart health
When it comes to exercising for heart you do not have to spend hours at the gym or get indulged into a heavy workout. Something as simple as a 30 minutes morning walk can help you for long run. Some of the best exercises for heart health may include-
1. Cardio exercises are considered good for heart health as performing cardio workout helps in better flow of the blood
2. Some exercises which you can try are- brisk walking, jumping ropes, swimming, jumping jacks, running, jogging, biking and kickboxing
Yoga and a healthy heart
Yoga can also help you ensure a healthy heart. Yoga stretches your body and involves breathing in a certain pattern which can improve heart health.
Ms. Rekha Hariharan who is a Yoga Therapist explained, "Yoga has been credited to reduce the risk of chronic ailments like diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS in women) by regulating metabolism and keeping all the organs of the body healthy and fit. Yoga increases the flexibility of the body, makes it toned and supple, and also helps maintain a good body weight. Yoga is also beneficial for heart health."
"Yoga, like all other restorative exercises, improves blood circulation and oxygen flow, thereby by augmenting the core strength of the body. Better flow of oxygen and blood boosts the functioning of the heart," she added.
Just like exercise yoga helps in controlling the various risk factors which can contribute to heart diseases. It helps in maintaining a healthy weight, Ms, Rekha also explained, "Practicing yoga regularly helps you burn calories and also the spiritual and emotional dimensions would encourage an individual to address any eating and weight issues to a deeper level."
Stress is also a factor which can contribute to heart diseases. The breathing pattern and the relaxing effect of yoga can help you manage stress and reduce the risk of heart diseases. "Yoga plays a very important role in today's cosmopolitan world filled with stress and fatigue. The relaxation exercises in yoga help better blood circulation and stress management," she explained.
Yoga can also help in managing blood pressure levels and help in maintaining heart health. Some of the best yoga asanas for better heart health include- marjariasana (cat pose), utkatasana (chair pose), verabhadrasana (warrior pose), trikonasana (triangle pose), tadasana (mountain pose) or setu bandha sarvangasana (bridge pose).
(Mrs. Rekha Hariharan is an Executive Yoga Therapy at Columbia Asia Hospital)