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Meditation linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease

Researchers say the practice gives more than just mental health benefits

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While many consumers simply think that meditation is an anxiety-coping skill, which it certainly is, it has also been found to improve focus and memory. Now, researchers have also found that the mindfulness practice has been associated with improving consumers’ physical health. 

According to a new study, practicing meditation can reduce consumers’ risk of cardiovascular disease by improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and promoting healthy habits overall. 

“I believe in meditation, as it can give us a sense of calm, peace, and stress reduction, leading to improvement of our emotional well-being,” said researcher Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong. 

Improving physical and mental health

The researchers analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included responses from over 61,000 participants. They were most interested in learning how many participants actively meditated, as well as their physical health status. 

Roughly 10 percent of the participants reported following a meditation practice, and these participants also had better physical health outcomes than those who didn’t meditate. 

When evaluating several health markers, the researchers learned that meditation lowered the risk for several factors that are closely linked with cardiovascular disease. Participants reported lower blood pressure levels, lower cholesterol readings, and were less likely to develop diabetes, coronary artery disease, or have a stroke. 

Though the researchers explained that this study can’t establish a direct cause and effect between meditation and heart disease, the findings do show a close correlation between the two.

An easy activity to incorporate

Meditating is an easy, cost-effective way for consumers to slow down and work to reduce stress levels -- especially while at home during the pandemic

The researchers recommend that consumers adopt a meditation practice, as doing so can be good for both their bodies and minds. 

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