Can you help your heart without breaking a sweat?

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By: Krissy Lillie

Often when you think about improving your heart health, you think of high-impact exercising like jumping on the treadmill or doing a Tabata circuit.

But you have other options.

Studies including one from the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology have indicated that mind-body techniques can improve your heart health.

It’s not surprising to those in the medical field.

“Our cardiologists have been recommending yoga to patients for years,” says McKensie Vogel, a registered nurse at the cardiac rehab department at Aurora Medical Center in Manitowoc County, Wis.

The study concluded that out of 1,404 participants, yoga showed significant improvement for:

Body mass index

Blood pressure

Cholesterol

“All of these help to improve your weight, which in turn can help improve your heart health,” Vogel says.

This is especially helpful for Midwesterners, because the cold winter months can deter you from getting outside and getting your steps in.

There are many options to practicing yoga. You can go sign up for classes at a gym. You can stream video classes at home. Or you can find a pop-up event in many communities.

“As a registered nurse in the cardiac rehab program, I like recommending yoga to clients because it’s something that anyone can do,” Vogel says. “There are modified techniques based on ability level and it’s a movement that builds on itself as you do it more and more.”

Plus, the popular exercise lets you start using your yoga pants for what they were originally made for.

Don’t get enough yoga and are concerned about your heart health? To take an assessment to learn more about your risk of developing heart disease and how to lower it, click here.

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