Tags: yoga | heart | health | benefits | cardiovascular

Can Yoga Improve Heart Health?

By    |   Tuesday, 14 August 2018 04:56 PM

The benefits of yoga as a form of exercise have long been documented and include increased flexibility, stronger muscles, and reduced stress, among other things. In recent years, however, studies have explored the possibility that yoga also can improve heart health.

The Harvard Health Blog pointed out that in 2015, a study of various forms of yoga showed a positive association between participants of all ages and health conditions and a lowered risk for heart disease.

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Participants in the yoga study lost five pounds on average, lowered their blood pressure by five points, and lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol by 12 points.

Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and review article co-author Dr. Gloria Yeh explained, “Yoga is unique because it incorporates physical activity, breathing and meditation,” all of which can have a positive effect on heart health individually, and are likely to have an even larger effect when combined.

Although yoga isn’t physically strenuous enough to be counted as part of the 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity recommended weekly by the American Heart Association, its impact on the body’s stress levels and overall flexibility do benefit the heart.

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Johns Hopkins research also has shown benefits for the heart, including lowering heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. Another study showed benefits for patients with heart arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation. Yet another showed lower levels of inflammation, which can trigger a heart attack by narrowing arteries.

The fact that yoga isn’t physically strenuous and can be easily modified means people who don’t exercise regularly can still do it without too much difficulty. Because of this, it can be a good way to start exercising after a heart attack and can help those who are recovering from one ease into more intense exercise like walking or running.

In addition, yoga focuses on mindfulness, which may help those at risk for cardiovascular problems to be more aware of how their bodies are functioning and lead to better self-care. According to the research, yoga seems to be beneficial for both those who want to prevent a heart attack and those recovering from one.

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The benefits of yoga as a form of exercise have long been documented and include increased flexibility, stronger muscles, and reduced stress, among other things.
yoga, heart, health, benefits, cardiovascular
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2018-56-14
Tuesday, 14 August 2018 04:56 PM
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