Why is it optimal to exercise without getting your heart rate up?

It’s not our heart rate that we want to increase, but rather it is our circulation we wish to improve.

There are 11 other main ways to pump blood to the body other than the heart. If you can utilise these other ways to encourage the flow of blood then you appear to be fit and you can run fast without the heart beating faster than normal.

In this photo I am enhancing circulation using an active posture that effectively improves blood flow without needing to increase heart rate. This happens because this posture automatically creates regions of high pressure (in places such as the front of the left hip, the back of the left hip, the back of the right shoulder and the front of the right shoulder) due to obligatory muscle activity and tissue compression, that ‘push’ blood away from those regions.

In conjunction with this ‘pushing’ effect, due to the reciprocal reflex and also by focusing on lengthening and relaxing in this posture you automatically create opposing regions of low pressure that effectively ‘pull’ blood towards them.

Low pressure regions here include the front of the right hip, the back of the left hip, the back of the left shoulder and the front of the left shoulder. Simple active movements such as this one effectively turn the entire body into one giant heart, while giving strength without stress, flexibility without stretching and relaxation without having to lie down.

It is not that it’s wrong to get your heart rate up but can you do more exercise without getting your heart rate up? Because that is what fit people do! Whereas if you simply get your heart rate up while not doing much exercise that is what unfit and unhealthy people do.

It is ideal if you can get your fingers and toes to be able to get warm before your heart starts to beat faster. It is also true if you wish to improve fitness after you’ve done what I said then there comes a point where every once in a while it is good to get your heart rate up because you’re exercising hard. But even modern physiologists suggest that you should only be doing this 10% of your exercise time. Most people do this much more than that in their exercise time. Then the negative effects include overstimulating the ‘flight or flight response’ (sympathetic nervous system) and consequently negatively impacting the health of the immune system, reproductive system, and the digestive system.

And also putting people’s emotions further into the state of fear, anger aggression and lack of safety. This is of course the exact opposite what will nurture health, well-being and longevity. If exercise or yoga is to be of real benefit for long term health blood needs to flow with the dominant emotions being love, peace and safety and a mostly low heart rate.

You can learn more by joining our live training or online courses especially our newest online course on the ‘Therapeutic Applications of Posture, Movement and Breathing’ at https://yogasynergy.com/shop/yoga-therapy-online-course/

Thank you to Alessandro Sigismondi for his great photography and OHMME YOGA CLOTHING FOR MEN for their wonderful clothing.

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