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    How Yoga, Breathing Exercises and a Nutritious Diet Can Protect Your Heart

    Heart disease continues to be one of the leading causes of death worldwide. However, simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in reducing risks and strengthening the body's cardiovascular system. Regular yoga and pranayama or breathing exercises have significant benefits for heart when paired with a nutritious diet.

    Breathing is crucial for oxygenating the blood and sustaining life. Specific breathing techniques focus the mind inward while improving respiration. Deep breathing exercises like Anulom Vilom help increase lung capacity and expand air sacs. This allows for better gas exchange and circulation. Combining breathing with gentle stretching and holding postures opens the chest area for maximum airflow. Regular practice can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of stress over time.

    In addition to breathing, certain yoga asanas directly target the heart region. Poses that compress the chest like Koormasana or Boat posetone the abdominal muscles. Twists like Ardha Matsyendrasana ease tension in the back and sides. Inversions stimulate the circulatory system by sending oxygen-rich blood to the head and upper body. Experts recommend starting slowly with 5-10 minutes daily and gradually increasing duration based on ability and fitness levels.

    A balanced plant-centric plate also plays a key role in heart protection. Whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of fiber, minerals and healthy fats. Berries, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables provide antioxidants and vitamins to repair cell damage. Lean proteins like eggs, chicken and fish complement a heart-healthy diet. Cooking with herbs, spices and healthy oils adds flavor without excess salt or saturated fat. Regular servings of probiotic yogurt can also help lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

    Making small, sustainable changes to breathing, activity levels and nutrition is a worthwhile investment in cardiovascular wellness. With consistency, everyone can take steps to support this vital organ and reduce risk of life-threatening diseases.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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