Essentrics provides three powerful ways to boost your heart health: lowering your stress, making your heart muscle stronger and improving the ability of your heart to nourish and fuel your entire body.
Here are 3 ways to boost your heart health with Essentrics!
1. Relieve stress. Movement – especially when it is enjoyable – has a profound effect on our bodies, decreasing anxiety, depression and improving one’s mood.1 Emotions are deeply connected with the body. Essentrics provides a fabulous way to rebalance hijacked emotions. Through the use of our Deep Breathing and Relaxation techniques, we are able to release unwanted stress and tension from major muscles (like the upper shoulders) as well as deeper muscles (like the diaphragm), sending an “all is well” signal to the nervous system. Our heart health improves with a slower heart rate, relieving stress on the heart muscle itself.
2. Strengthen your muscles. Strength training has been associated with improvements in our heart health. In a report that summarized the benefits of strength training studies of over 12,5000 participants, there were significant reductions in the risk for cardiovascular disease and death, as well as body mass index.2 And while many strength training programs have a narrow focus on just a few muscle groups in limited ranges of motion, Essentrics challenges your total body by using all 650 muscles in a workout! By challenging all our muscles, we burn more calories – increasing muscle and decreasing body fat.
One specific Essentrics technique that will help you build strength? Imagery! When we use imagery to increase resistance (such as “pull down heavy ropes from the ceiling”), our muscles activate to match that imagined resistance.
3. Improve your cardiovascular health. It is well documented that low impact cardiovascular movement gets the heart pumping, improves circulation, and lowers cardiovascular risk by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, blood fats, body fat, blood sugar levels.3 Essentrics provide a wonderful low impact cardiovascular challenge to improve our heart health. Utilizing the muscles to assist the pumping action of the heart reduces the strain on the heart and improves circulation all the way to our fingers and toes. Exercises with our arms overhead gently improve the strength of the heart – blood has to pump against gravity, gently increasing our heart rate. Another exercise that directly affects the cardiovascular system is our calf sequence. The calf is known as the “second heart” – second only to our heart as a pump!4 Each time we contract and stretch the calf muscles, the pumping action against the veins sends blood back up to the heart. Our cardiovascular system strengthens by rising to this challenge.
An added bonus: by moving and stretching the muscles, we also stretch the blood vessels! This decreases stiffness in our arteries,5 allowing them to expand more easily to pump blood. The endothelial cells lining of the artery strengthen, increasing blood flow and helping the lining to withstand damage, inflammation and weakening.
Contributing Writer Dr. Nanette Tummers