Is Stress Making You Older From the Inside Out?

by Jess Goodman | December 18, 2016 4:23 am

Emotional and physical issues contribute to stress. Long term stress is well known to have negative consequences, leading to fatigue, a decline in mood and impaired physical health. It is important to recognize how short term, minor stress affects many aspects of human life and that there are ways to recognize and manage stress points.

How Does Stress Affect the Heart?

Stress coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to a decline in heart health. The Aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, which carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. That’s a pretty important job, but the Aorta does much more than that, the Aorta holds very important information on whole body health. When we become stressed or make unhealthy lifestyle choices, the Aorta becomes stiffer. The secret to keeping our heart healthy and maintaining a younger “internal age” is keeping the Aorta flexible. Stiffness of the Aorta is well accepted in scientific literature to indicate risk of heart disease and risk of development of cognitive decline. In fact, Aortic stiffness is known to predict risk of death from all causes.

How Do I keep My Aorta from Becoming Stiff?

One way to increase Aortic flexibility is by literally stretching the core of the body. This helps the Aorta function properly and provide an ample blood supply to vital organs. Stretching this area of the body also helps increase core mobility. The core of the body is where most of the vital organs live. It’s important to keep these organs mobile and flexible so they can function properly. Stiff and stagnant organs are more susceptible to disease.

Exercises for core mobility

It’s important to focus on exercises that stretch through the spine, chest and abdomen and incorporate movements that are fluid.
Stretching does wonders for the body. It improves flexibility, core mobility, sleep and stress levels.
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years for good reason. It is a strengthening, relaxing, and stress reducing workout. Another added benefit is that it improves core mobility by allowing you to stretch throughout the entire body while moving into different postures.
Breathing Exercises – many people don’t think about breathing as an exercise. It’s automatic, in and out, right? Practicing breathing exercises improves core mobility, can improve stress levels, and even improve sleep.

How can I objectively know if I’m aging “gracefully” inside?

Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity (AoPWV) is a measure of Aortic stiffness, the rate at which pressure waves move down the blood vessel. AoPWV has been proven in a wealth of scientific literature to be a marker of heart health, brain health, and risk of death from all causes. AoPWV is a great way to know the state of your internal health, and see changes when incorporating positive lifestyle choices.

Stress is known to cause external signs of pre-mature aging such as weight gain, grey hairs and wrinkles. However, high levels of stress overtime can also cause signs of aging internally as well. With positive lifestyle changes in addition to regularly participating in stress-relieving activities such yoga and meditation, you’ll see positive changes in core mobility and AoPWV which will help make sure you’re aging gracefully both inside and out.

Source URL: https://yogadigest.com/stress-making-older-inside/