Adding yoga to a normal fitness training regimen improves cardiovascular health and well-being and is more beneficial than stretching exercises, according to a pilot research of hypertensive individuals that was conducted over the course of three months and published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. Yoga was able to lower systolic blood pressure as well as resting heart rate, in addition to improving 10-year cardiovascular risk.
Yoga is practiced all over the world by millions of individuals as part of their religious and physical fitness routines. The number of studies pertaining to yoga is expanding as the practice of yoga evolves into a mainstream type of physical activity. It is an exercise that can be included into a variety of lifestyles and has the potential to positively affect both cardiovascular health and overall well-being. Stretching exercises and the physical aspects of yoga practices share a number of commonalities, but there are also some significant variations between the two.
The exercise training program that the researchers conducted included the participation of sixty people who had a history of being diagnosed with high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome. During the course of the intervention program that lasted for three months, participants were split into two groups. Each group engaged in either 15 minutes of yoga or stretching in combination to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise training five times per week.
After three months, both groups had a drop in their resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as a reduction in their mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate. Yoga, on the other hand, was shown to lower systolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg, whereas stretching only decreased it by 4 mmHg. In addition, the yoga method lowered both the resting heart rate and the 10-year cardiovascular risk that was determined using Reynolds’ Risk score.
Patients who suffer from hypertension have been proven to benefit from yoga, although the precise mechanism that is responsible for this beneficial effect is not completely understood. This preliminary randomized trial demonstrates that the advantages of stretching cannot simply be attributed to the stretching alone.
The findings of this study give support for an extra non therapeutic option for the decrease of cardiovascular risk and the regulation of blood pressure in individuals who have high blood pressure and who are participating in a primary preventive exercise program.