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Feb 15, 2024

Yoga’s Preventive Powers: Exploring Disease Defense

Yoga is an ancient mind and body practice originating in India. Today, many people consider yoga as a form of physical exercise that can increase strength and flexibility. However, the practice of yoga goes beyond just carrying out a few difficult poses. It encompasses mental and spiritual well-being too. Today, thanks to extensive research, yoga is increasingly being acknowledged as a preventive tool against many diseases. By offering the right integration of breath control, meditation, and various postures that can harmonise the body's systems, yoga can help improve one’s overall health in many ways.

How Yoga Can Help Prevent Diseases 

Let’s look at some science-backed ways yoga can help prevent diseases.

1. Improves flexibility and slows down its declines

Perhaps one of the most common reasons many people start yoga is to improve their flexibility. Indeed, yoga, with its various intensity levels, is a great way to boost flexibility in people of all ages. Even milder forms of yoga have been shown to enhance flexibility. For individuals aged 65 years and older, yoga is especially helpful to counteract the natural decline in flexibility that can come with ageing. A study in 2019 found that practising yoga not only slowed down this decline, but also improved flexibility among older adults.

2. Helps improve mental health and well-being 

Major proponents of yoga have always maintained that practising yoga can have positive benefits on people’s mental health. Now, there seems to be a scientific consensus on the same as well. As per a 2017 meta-analysis of 23 interventions that examined the impact of yoga-based treatments on depressive symptoms, it was established that yoga can be an effective alternative treatment, especially for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Thus, practising yoga may have positive effects on one’s mental health.

3. May decrease inflammation 

Yoga can help in reducing inflammation, a common precursor to various major illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Crohn's disease. One study reviewed 15 research studies and found that practising yoga, regardless of its style or duration, consistently reduced markers of inflammation in various chronic conditions.

4. May enhance cardiovascular functioning 

As yoga practitioners may know, one of the basic yet essential element of yoga is ‘Pranayama’ or controlled breathing. It involves regulating one’s breath through different techniques. As per scientific studies, pranayama exercises can offer notable benefits for cardiovascular health. A review of 1,400 studies, as published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, found that controlled breathing positively impacts various body systems. It was also emphasised that such practices affected the cardiovascular system positively, leading to improvements in heart rate, stroke capacity, arterial pressure, and heart contractility.

5. May help individuals sleep better 

Yoga can enhance sleep by addressing both, the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Studies indicate that it improves the speed at which individuals fall asleep and also the intensity/ depth of their sleep. This may be attributed in part to the post-exercise effects and the mental calming that one may experience after practising yoga. Moreover, Yoga Nidra, which is a kind of guided meditation helpful for relaxing, can be particularly effective in improving sleep quality, as per various studies. Practising yoga is one aspect of being a healthy individual. Along with physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, you must not overlook the one aspect that can ensure you a happy and healthy life as well - financial wellness, especially health insurance.

How Health Insurance Is Essential for Financial and Overall Wellness? 

A medical emergency brings many consequences. For instance, you may want to ensure that you or your loved one get the best treatment. This can mean having to spend a considerable amount of money on hospitalisation. In the absence of enough finances, your family may be left worrying about the right course of action. This is why health insurance is important. It can:

Provide financial assistance -

With a health insurance plan, one can get good-quality treatment at reputed hospitals and recover without worrying about finances.*

Cover your family -

Such types of general insurance coverage can be extended to your parents, spouse, or children as well, thus ensuring they get the care and treatment they need.*

Ensure peace of mind -

When you have a financial backup for medical emergencies, you can breathe more freely and enjoy better peace of mind.* Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under health insurance policy. Hence, one should look at general insurance plans such as health insurance as an investment, in a similar manner as you may look at yoga as an investment in your health. Just like practising yoga daily can improve many aspects of your health in the long term, paying the premium of your health insurance can ensure a financially safe and healthy future. To know the premium of your ideal health insurance plan, you can use a health insurance calculator.   *Standard T&C apply. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.

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