Meditation: Heart Healthier Than Organic O's?


Photo via: Randy Wick/flickr

Here's my kind of sans-sweat, sustainable exercise: my body, seated comfortably on a cushion or folded up blanket. There's no one to compete against, no cheesy loud music or energy-sucking stair masters, treadmills, or flat-screen televisions tuned into fear-mongering news stations. It's just me--meditating my way to bliss. No waste of electricity or fancy performance gear required.

I didn't learn until recently that my favorite peaceful AM activity just so happens to come with a heap of cardio positive benefits. Quite possibly as much as my morning bowl of slow-cooked oats...According to the New York Times, a study was presented to the American Heart Association that transcendental meditation may be beneficial to those high-risk for heart disease.

The study followed 200 people over the course of five years. Those who meditated cut their risk for heart attacks, strokes and death in half, in comparison to the patients who were only given conventional nutritional and healthy lifestyle education.

Common too, among those who used mediation was reduced blood pressure

Dr. Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention, who presented the findings, believes there's a link between meditation and stress reduction, and that stress reduction could play a key role in keeping heart challenges like cardiovascular disease at bay.

And it's not just older, heart-sensitive folks capable of reaping the rewards of meditation's mountains of healthy, laid-back goodness--younger, stressed out college students stand to benefit, too. A different study proved its ability to boost the students' mood and reduce hypertension.

Enough proof for me to keep meditation included in my green exercise repertoire and now treat it as part of my heart-healthy, balanced diet. Move over, Organic Breakfast O's!

::The New York Times
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