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American heart month and yoga

Besides Valentine's Day, February is also American Heart Month.

Yoga is good for your heart
Illustration by Kathleen Rietz

Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, and Friday February 7th is National Wear Red Day.

Red is the color of our hearts, and on this day Americans are urged to wear red to show their support for women's heart health.

Stress is one factor that contributes heavily to heart disease, and since practicing yoga relieves stress it is in turn good for your heart.

As parents, you can motivate your kids to incorporate yoga into their daily lifestyle. This will help them start good habits early in life and help prevent future health problems such as heart disease.

Encourage kids to breathe deeply in and out through their nose when they are upset or under stress. This type of breathing can influence the heart rhythm through the central nervous system and helps to calm down the body.

Balancing Stick Pose (Tuladandasana) is a great yoga posture to practice this month and beyond. It sends high-speed blood pouring into the heart, cleaning out all the veins and arteries and strengthening the heart muscle.

In addition, the American Heart Association has many activities for kids to raise their awareness of heart health, including

  • creating a family health tree
  • tips on drinking and eating healthy
  • nutrition knowledge
  • tips to get active.

In Pacific Palisades, you can participate in the 2014 Greater Los Angeles Heart Walk, sponsored by the American Heart Association.

The money that is raised through this walk will be used to fund the valuable research, education and advocacy efforts of the American Heart Association.

By educating and encouraging healthy heart habits for their kids, parents are paving the way for a life long tradition of children's health and fitness for the future generation of our youth.

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