When living with high cholesterol level is a cause for alarm as it heightens your risk of cardiovascular diseases, you need to do more to salvage your health than just popping in statins or go dieting. Incorporate more exercises in your daily lifestyle and stay physically active. If you don’t like hitting the gym, jogging in the park or doing aerobics, why not opt for some gentler but effective exercises like yoga? Being an age-old exercise with different poses and postures, yoga helps to train your mind and body, creating balance and bountiful of health benefits.
How Does Yoga Lower Cholesterol?
Yoga consists of two parts: the ‘asana’ exercise and the ‘pranayama’ breathing technique. Doing asana or the various yoga poses provide you with exercises to tone your muscles and stretch your body. Besides, yoga can boost your energy level so you can stay physically active. With regular workouts, you can melt the pounds and lower fat and cholesterol level in your body. This generally supports a better cardiovascular health.
A study conducted by the Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University, India in 2001 showed promising results that practicing yoga does reduce lipid level and body fat to improve cardiovascular health.
On the other hand, when you are practicing pranayama and meditation, it supports relaxation to reduce stress and tension mentally and physically. Stress can be a contributing factor to increasing levels of cholesterol as it stimulates overproduction of stress hormones. As a result, your cholesterol level increases when you are always stressed out. By doing pranayama, you learn to calm down, release tension and this helps to increase the production of beneficial hormones which seek to reduce cholesterol. When you feel light and balanced, you will be less inclined to go binge eating, succumb to your cravings and therefore being able to control your food intake better.
What are the types of yoga poses and therapy beneficial in reducing cholesterol level?
- The Locust Pose
- Half Spinal Twist
- The Vajrasana Pose
- Pranayama Therapy
Practicing the locust pose gives you a good stretch for your back to strengthen the muscles and your gastrointestinal organs. Besides aiding in digestion, it also helps to revitalize and improve your liver function. When your liver is performing optimally, this will help to regulate cholesterol production. Your abdomen, waist and hip get toned up to help you burn off the extra pounds, improving your heart function and circulation.
The twisting pose gives a good workout for your abdomen and the gastrointestinal organs around. You will feel your abdomen strengthen as the posture helps to improve digestion and circulation to expel toxin and prevent cholesterol buildup while replenishing your body with oxygen and nutrients. When your gastrointestinal health improves, bile production will be better regulated and more cholesterol will be converted to bile. This will lower the cholesterol level in your circulation. From the pancreas to the kidney and liver, various organs will receive the benefits when practicing this posture.
This is a great sitting pose which strengthens the muscles in your lower body and stretches your spine as well. You can tone your abdomen, eliminate the love handles and build a good posture. It fires up the circulation so that more blood supply reaches your organs to improve their function. Any illness or disorders related to your intestine, liver and etc may be corrected and this involves regulating cholesterol and bile production as well as lipid elimination to control cholesterol level.
Incorporating breathing exercise like pranayama can further help to reduce your lipid level. The exercise trains you to focus and control your breath as you inhale and exhale. Regular practice on breathing will ensure that your internal organs and body receive adequate oxygen and nutrients through improved blood circulation. There will be less risk of inflammation and formation of cholesterol plaques in your arteries as harmful substances and fat are eliminated from the body. It also regulates your glands and hormones to reduce stress and cholesterol production.