Yoga for heart health

A primer on yoga for heart health

Yoga for heart health

It’s a common misconception that only cardiovascular exercises that spike up your heart rate are good for your heart health. In fact, yoga – a much calming and restful activity offers a wide variety of unparalleled health benefits for your heart. In fact, this is why doctors worldwide are recommending yoga for heart health.

Benefits of yoga on your heart:

 

Yoga reduces stress, which is a high-risk factor for heart disease

It is common knowledge that stress is a silent aggressor on your heart. Stress releases hormones that narrow your arteries (the tubes which supply blood to your body from the heart) and thereby increase blood pressure. Yoga lowers blood pressure as it calms you down because of the deep breathing and mental focus that the activity entails.  

Since stress, worry, and depression commonly occur in patients who have recently suffered a stroke, Yoga is a highly recommended activity as part of the overall treatment plan for these patients. 

Yoga brings about various physiological changes that improve heart health

High levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood glucose are major risk factors for heart disease. Practising yoga reduces these levels significantly.  

Moreover, waist circumference — another significant parameter for heart disease — improves in middle-aged adults with metabolic syndrome who practised yoga for at least three months. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions such as blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess body fat around the waist that occur simultaneously thereby drastically increasing the risk of heart disease.  

Thus, Yoga is also a highly recommended activity for patients who suffer from diabetes, hypertension, and other metabolic and lifestyle conditions. 

Yoga reduces the incidence of AFib episodes

Bi-weekly slow-paced yoga classes reduce the frequency of atrial fibrillation episodes in patients who suffer from that condition. Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heartbeat. 

Patients who suffer from it may have a rapid heart rate or experience a fluttering sensation in their chest. It can also cause tiredness, faintness, and shortness of breath. 

AFib episodes strike suddenly and can last for a few hours, a few days, or persist all the time thus causing a great deal of discomfort and inconvenience to those affected. 

Yoga makes it easier to quit smoking

Yoga may be a useful tool in helping smokers quit as it helps to cut down on stress – a major cause of smoking. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease.

8 yoga poses for heart health:

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

2. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

4. Big-Toe Pose (Padangusthasana)

5. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

6. Head-To-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)

7. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) 

8. Reclining Hand-To-Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana) 

Conclusion

The biggest plus side of yoga for heart health is that patients of all fitness levels can greatly benefit from it. Moreover, the physical demands that yoga makes on the body are less than higher intensity workouts that may not be suited for everybody. In a nutshell, practise yoga heartily for a healthy heart!

One of yoga’s primary benefits to heart health is its ability to relax the body and mind. Stress and depression usually result in a cardiac event, such as a heart attack.
As part of a holistic wellness approach, yoga can help you effectively manage stress.
To know more about yoga and similar measures that you can take to keep your heart healthy, speak to a Doctor on MediBuddy today.

Sources:

John Hopkins Medicine

Breast cancer causes symptoms diagnosis

Beat Breast Cancer with Awareness!

Breasts, particularly female ones, are talked about a lot. So why shy away when it comes to keeping them healthy? Breast cancer is one such ailment that affects women and men all around the world. The incidents of this disease keep climbing every year. October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis and also assess your risk for this ailment with our infographic.

Breast Cancer: Signs, symptoms and risks

Effects of cold drinks on health

Here’s why cold drinks are bad for health

Effects of cold drinks on health

Not many of us find it easy to immunize ourselves from the lure of a soft fizzy drink. And there are stats that prove it! It’s believed that by 2021, per capita consumption of cold drinks in India will soar to 84 bottles. But all you soft drink guzzlers, pay attention, cold drinks are bad for health. How bad you ask? Keep reading to find out.

Harmful effects of soft drinks

Here are just a few ways how cold drinks harm you:

1. All those extra sugar

Our body needs sugar to fuel itself and carry out its functions. But extra sugar that you consume through cold drinks causes a surge in your blood sugar level. If you keep this up, your body will become resistant to insulin, which is responsible for telling your cells how to utilize sugar. Insulin resistance leads to Type 2 diabetes.

2. Cold drinks can make you Fat

Cold drinks cause obesity. They are choc-a-bloc with calories. Unlike solid foods, soft drinks don’t make you feel full. Because it doesn’t sit heavily on your stomach, cold drinks won’t induce you to cut down on your next meal. So you end up consuming a large number of calories. The extra calories are turned into fats and with a gradual accumulation of fats, you will become obese.

To prevent this, doctors urge people to consume at least 140 calories fewer than they usually do if they indulge in cold drinks. But not many people pay heed to this advice.

Another reason why cold drinks are bad for health is that they have an impact on your leptin resistance. Leptin decides how many calories you burn. If you become resistant to it, you will begin to burn fewer calories. And that will make you fat.

3. Your liver is under attack

With soft drinks, you are introducing plenty of fructose- a kind of sugar into your blood. Your cells can metabolize glucose, the other kind of sugar but it’s only the liver that can break down fructose. So, if there’s too much of it in your system, it will become very taxing on the liver. This is when the liver begins to convert the excess fructose into fats, which begin to build up there paving the way for Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver disease.

4. There’s nothing to gain

Cold drinks merely contain sugar. There’s absolutely nothing else in it. It contains no nutrients whatsoever. So, it does no favours to your health. In fact, it just damages it.

5. Your taste buds may love it, but your heart doesn’t

Scientists believe that soft drinks might be addictive. They suppress a part of your brain that inhibits you from consuming too much of a particular food or drink. And when your consumption increases, so does your likelihood of contracting heart ailments. Cold drinks raise blood pressure and increase LDL (bad cholesterol) level- all of which contribute to heart diseases.

Conclusion

Cold drinks are best avoided because there is absolutely nothing beneficial that they can offer your health.

A cold drink is a drink that usually contains carbonated water, a sweetener, and flavouring. None of the aforementioned ingredients in cold drinks helps you in any way. To know
alternatives of cold drinks that can help you quench your thirst in a
healthy way, speak to a Doctor on MediBuddy today.

Sources:

  1. Healthline
  2. Livestrong
Herniated Disc in the Lower Back – The Facts

Herniated Disc in the Lower Back – The Facts

 Herniated Disc in the Lower Back – The Facts

A herniated disc in the lower back more commonly known as a ‘slipped disc’ occurs when the soft inner section of the intervertebral disc (lying between the vertebral column and vertebrae) protrudes through the outer layer. The bulging disc may press on nearby nerves, causing discomfort and pain. 

Slipped disc – causes

Most often, a slipped disc results from the gradual wear-and-tear of the spinal column. As you age, the discs lose their water content and start to dry out and shrink – this makes them less adjustable to compression and prone to ruptures. 

Other causes of a slipped disc in the lumbar region are –

  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Sudden traumatic injuries/accidents
  • Heavy weight-lifting

 

Symptoms to look out for

A herniated/slipped disc causes pain and discomfort in the affected area. Symptoms of the condition include –

  • Pain that becomes severe with specific movements
  • Pain and numbness on one side of the body
  • Tingling and burning sensations in the limbs
  • Radiating pain that extends to the arms or legs
  • Numbness and muscular weakness in the buttocks and legs
  • Pain that aggravates after prolonged standing, sitting, or walking a short distance

 

Best treatments for slip disc

There are several treatment options available for a slipped disc or a herniated disc. Some of the most effective ones are:

Medications

The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory OTC or prescription medications to ease swelling and pain. You may also be advised to take muscle relaxants and painkillers.

Injections

Anti-inflammatory, pain-relief injections or steroid injections are injected into the affected nerves directly – this usually provides instant relief.

Physiotherapy

Most people respond well to conservative slip disc treatment methods like physiotherapy. Physiotherapy exercises are very effective in treating a herniated disc. Certain exercises provide relief, minimize pain, and improve flexibility in patients with a herniated disc. However, it is strongly recommended that you try these out under the guidance and supervision of a trained professional. 

Surgery

Surgery for a herniated disc is usually performed using two minimally invasive procedures, namely – Discectomy and Laminectomy. In a discectomy, the herniated portion of the disc is removed. Laminectomy, on the other hand, involves removing the part of the disc that is damaged, and the portion of the bone that is pinching the nerve. 

Conclusion

Certain lifestyle alterations – such as losing weight, exercising regularly, and drinking sufficient amount of water can reduce your chances of getting a slipped disc significantly.

A herniated disk is a condition that can occur anywhere along the spine, but most often occurs in the lower back. The symptoms of a herniated disc in the lower back may
vary from one person to another. If you notice any of the above-mentioned
symptoms then speak to a Doctor on MediBuddy today.

 

Sources:

  1. Healthline