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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A win-win situation for your heart

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

McCook Daily Gazette Abbie Benson goes through one of the yoga poses she teaches at McCook Community College. With three busy kids 12 years old and younger, the relaxation yoga gives her is imperative in her life, Benson said.
McCOOK, Nebraska -- For those who don't want to manically bounce around or run a marathon, but still want to get some exercise, there's hope. The American Heart Association says the practice of yoga can improve heart health -- and you don't have to break a sweat to do it.

Abbie J. Benson of Cambridge, Nebraska, knows all about the benefits of yoga. A licenced and certified massage therapist and therapeutic massage, she teaches yoga classes at McCook Community College and is passionate about it's benefits, for herself and others.

With three kids aged two through 12, time is limited, so yoga is the perfect way to get her day started on the right track, she said. She uses Christian worship music or Bible verses.

"If I don't get it done in the morning, it doesn't get done," she said.

Benson has been teaching yoga for seven years and first began interested in it when she took a kinesiology class in college for massage school. "The results I got from yoga were incredible," she said, citing the relief of stress, helping with concentration, increased joint flexibility, even weight loss

The deep breathing -- in through your lungs, out through your mouth, while tucking the stomach in -- helps in relaxation, she said, by focusing the mind on the breathing instead of stress.

It also increases blood flow, which increases circulation and so you don't feel so sluggish, she said.

Lungs are stretched during the deep breathing, which increases lung capacity.

It's a really win-win situation, Benson said, as ironically, yoga improves the heart rate as more blood is pumped , yet relaxes you at the same time.

Moving and bending with the yoga poses also moves the intestines around, which helps in elimination of waste from the body.

Yoga is easy enough to do at home, but sometimes taking a class, like the ones she teaches at MCC, keeps you more accountable, she said.

The no-impact exercise is perfect for anyone in almost any condition. But as with any exercise program, a healthy diet is key to good heart health, she said.

If you are still not convinced, anyone is welcome to try one free yoga class she teaches at MCC, she said.

For more information on a free class, call the Mid-Plains Center for Enterprise, Hormel Center for Business & Industry, at 308-345-8122.

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