Since the 1960s, yoga has become increasingly popular in the western world. Yoga is well known to increase flexibility. A recent study found that the practice of yoga also has positive effects on cardiovascular health that are similar to those obtained from walking, cycling or other aerobic exercises. Participants int he program found that adding yoga to their routines lowered blood pressure, resting heart rate, low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol) and even body mass index. Yoga practice also lowered the stress response responsible for the production of cortisol, a hormone that contributes to the development of coronary artery disease.
Try these simple yoga poses at your desk to relieve the effects of too much sitting.
CHAIR TWIST: Sit with your feet shoulder width apart, and cross your left foot over your right knee. With your right hand on your left knee, place your left hand on the chair back and twist your torso to the left. Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
FORWARD FOLD: With your chair far enough from your desk to avoid hitting your head, place your feet shoulder-width apart and lean forward, reaching to the floor. Slowly return to a seated position.
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