Meditating to reduce your risk of heart disease?

To reduce the risk of heart disease, it is generally recommended to have a healthy diet, to be physically active, not to smoke and to take medication to lower blood pressure or cholesterol (if these are too high). While these strategies are effective, too many people still die each year from heart disease. Experts are therefore constantly looking for new strategies that could further improve things.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the addition of meditation as a risk reduction strategy for heart disease. It bases this recommendation on the analysis of hundreds of studies that have attempted to establish a link between the practice of meditation and a lower risk of heart disease. These studies have shown various benefits of meditation that could have an impact on the prevention of heart disease, such as helping people quitting smoking, decreasing blood pressure, and attenuating stress.

The AHA recognizes that studies on meditation are often too modest to prove that there is a link between the regular practice of meditation and a lower risk of heart disease. However, it considers that this connection is sufficiently plausible to recommend it in spite of everything.

Since meditation has no negative effect and is accessible to everyone, free of charge or at low cost, the AHA considers that there is no risk in trying it out.

Want to give it a try? You can go the traditional way by joining a meditation group or choose the technological path and use one of the many, often free, applications available on the web.

http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/6/10/e002218

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