Is Stress Causing You to Overeat? Try Yoga Instead.
Posted Sep 03 2008 12:00am
We all know stress plays a major role in our everyday lives. Many people turn to food, especially carbs and high calorie foods, as a source of comfort. However, intaking the comfort carbs and empty calories will produce an excess of calories that will negatively affect weight if this pattern is continued. In addition, stress can lead heart disease if it’s not controlled. When you’re stressed, your heart rate and blood pressure rise, which causes your body to releases stress hormones. These stress hormones put unnecessary pressure to the heart and blood vessels.
Research shows us that yoga and meditation both reduce blood pressure, lower the pulse rate, improve the elasticity of the arteries, regulate heart rhythm and increase the heart’s stroke volume. Yoga is a very relaxing and spiritual exercise that can save your life, according to the American Heart Association; coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, causing about 1.5 million heart attacks each year.
Yoga is a wonderful exercise that is widely known for its ability to reduce stress and promote a calm, relaxed being. This state reduces the stress hormone levels, decreases the heart rate and lowers the blood pressure. If you have ever taken a Yoga class, you will notice they concentrate on breathing. Breathing influences the rhythm of the heart through inner connections in the central nervous system. When you take slow, deep breaths it allows your heart rate to slow and regulates the heart rhythm. The blood becomes oxygenated and feelings of calm and well-being are induced in your body.
If you can practice Yoga three times a week, studies show you can greatly reduce the risks of heart disease. Daily meditation is also good to practice because it can reduce heart damaging emotions, such as anxiety, fear and anger. The next time you are stressed and you feel like you want to reach for the cookies, chips or ice cream, try yoga instead.