Yoga – To improve your heart health

Yoga more effective than stretching

For this pilot study, scientists brought together 60 people with hypertension and metabolic syndrome who had been recommended to follow a three-month physical training program. The volunteers were divided into 2 groups. If each of the participants had to perform 30 minutes of aerobics 5 times a week, half were instructed to do yoga for 15 minutes while the other had stretches to perform.

Different measurements were taken at the end of the experimental quarter: blood pressure, BMI, glucose, lipids or even ultrasensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels as well as Framingham risk scores and of Reynolds (measurement of cardiovascular risks over 10 years, editor’s note).

After 3 months, the researchers noticed a decrease in resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean blood pressure and heart rate in both groups. However, systolic blood pressure was reduced by 10 mmHg with yoga versus 4 mmHg with stretching.

In addition, the practice from India reduces resting heart rate and cardiovascular risk over 10 years assessed using the Reynolds risk score.

Heart health: find the physical activity that’s right for you

“This study provides evidence for an additional non-pharmacological treatment option that promotes cardiovascular risk reduction and blood pressure control in patients with high blood pressure, as part of a preventive exercise program”explains Dr. Paul Poirier of the University of Laval who worked on this experiment.

“Like several studies before, we recommend that patients try exercise and stress reduction to reduce high blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, in whatever form they find most appealing.”adds the expert before calling back: “Our work shows that practicing yoga can be a healthier complement to aerobics than just muscle stretching.”

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