The Heart Benefits of Simple Meditation Exercises

June 07, 2011 2:33 AM

At an event over the weekend, a speaker for the Heart and Stroke Foundation reminded us of the benefits of simple exercises, like meditation, for the reduction of stress – a key contributor to heart disease and stroke, both of which are the leading causes of death in women.

The main ways to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in women, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation are:

  • becoming smoke free
  • maintaining a healthy body weight
  • engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week
  • eating a healthy diet low in fat and sodium and high in fibre
  • using medication to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke as prescribed by a healthcare provider

For stress reduction, the speaker also recommended simple daily meditation exercise, which we think is an easy and enjoyable practice to introduce to your daily routine. We’re not talking about complicated poses or visiting your local Zen monastery… just simple daily deep breathing exercises that you can do lying down and that, although they do not replace exercise, can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and counteract the effects of stress on your body.

It’s as easy as downloading a guided meditation exercise, like a deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation session, that you can do at home. Just close the bedroom door for 10 or 15 minutes and enjoy the body reset. Here are some we found on iTunes:

The Meditation Podcast (Free)

The Simply Being App – Meditation for Relaxation and Presence ($0.99) – we like the voice with rain option.

The Simple Being App – Relax & rest Guided Meditations ($0.99) –

Meditation for Health (Free)

(The feature image for this post is Silver Ridge Studios’ Meditation, available on Etsy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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