This World Heart Day, gift yourself a healthy heart and mind.
Thanks to the fast-paced and sedentary lifestyle that many of us are forced to live, health has taken a back seat in our list of priorities. People are more bothered about meeting targets and deadlines than eating and living healthy. Most times, we often forget to even take a deep breath, because we do not stop to think how valuable our lives are. As a result, an increasing number of people see their mental and physical health deteriorating today. More and more of us are becoming patients of not just heart problems, hypertension and cholesterol, but are also battling depression and other mental disorders.
History of World Heart Day
World Heart Day was founded in 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year.
World Heart Day is an annual event which takes place on 29 September every year. Each year’s celebrations have a different theme, reflecting key issues and topics relating to heart health. The theme for this year is creating heart-healthy environments.
Together with World Heart Federation (WHF) members, World Heart Day spreads the news that at least 80% of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) could be avoided if four main risk factors – tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol – are controlled.
While a culture of paid yoga, meditation and exercise sessions are coming up to make people conscious about their health, there are a lot of these yoga poses and meditation techniques that we can try at home. All we need to do is squeeze out a little time from our busy schedules and put health first.
Yoga poses for a healthy heart
On this World Heart Day, Nidhi Arora, senior therapist at AktivOrtho, talks about six yoga poses that are simple and can be tried easily at home to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Each yoga posture affects the respiratory system in one way or the other and hence, affects the heart as well.
Veerabhadra’s pose is also called as the Warrior Pose. This pose improves body balance and stamina, releases stress and helps maintain a balanced heart rate. This posture is recommended for those with sedentary or deskbound jobs.
The body takes a triangular shape in this asana which is why it is called the trikonasana or triangle pose. The deep breathing involved expands the chest and promotes cardiovascular exercise. The posture increases the body stamina. This asana stretches the muscles and reduces blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. It is especially recommended for pregnant women.
It’s called Vrikshasana because when it is performed effectively, the person looks like a tree. The tree pose calms and brings balance to the mind. It ensures steady and healthy heart functioning. It is beneficial for people suffering from spine deformities, arthritis of joints of upper and lower extremities and weakness in legs and shoulders.
Posing to sit on an imaginary chair is more difficult than you thought. And this is exactly what we do in Utkatasana or Chair Pose. In this intense yoga posture, the respiration rate increases, which is why it is a popularly known as heating and strengthening pose.
This Yoga pose has been named after the shape it takes while performing the asana i.e. like a bow. The posture improves the strength of the back and lower abdominal muscles. It massages the internal organs and the abdomen and stretches the entire body deeply. Most importantly, the posture opens and strengthens the heart and regulates blood flow and production in the heart.
It serves as a resting posture, the seated forward bend brings the head lower than the heart. The heart rate and respiration reduce in this case and helps you relax and concentrate.
Also Read: 7 Yoga Poses to reduce Belly Fat
How to maintain a healthy heart?
All you need to do is follow a healthy diet which is balanced and contains all sorts of nutrients, antioxidants and good cholesterol referred to as the high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Also, make sure that you workout daily to keep you heart and body fit. Do visit your doctor for regular check-up every once in a while.
Tips for a healthy heart
- Quit smoking
- Cut down on alcohol
- Lower salt intake and high sodium foods
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
- Eat more fish, fibre and fruits
- Reduce stress – Get an engaging hobby
- Get enough sleep
- Do your yearly health check-ups
- Be aware of heart disease and symptoms
If there’s a family history of heart disease, pay attention to your health
So this World Heart Day, let’s make sure we all take action to keep our hearts healthy!
Inputs from The Indian Express