Adding yoga to your regular exercise program is good for your heart and well-being: in one study, blood pressure, resting heart rate and the risk of cardiovascular disease improved.
A research team had 60 people with hypertension and metabolic syndrome do either 15 minutes of stretching or yoga five times a week, in addition to 30 minutes of cardio. After three months, blood pressure dropped significantly in both groups, but upper blood pressure decreased more in the yoga group (by ten units compared to four). Yoga also reduced resting heart rate and 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease. However, it is not yet known why yoga has a greater effect on high blood pressure than stretching exercises: stretching exercises and yoga exercises have a lot in common, but also some differences. There are also many facets of yoga training.
“This study provides evidence of an additional non-drug therapy option to reduce cardiovascular risk and blood pressure control,” said Associate Professor Dr. Paul Poirier of the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, who and his team published the study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. “We encourage patients to find exercise and stress relief for managing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in the forms they find most appealing. Our study shows that structured yoga practice can be a healthier supplement to cardio than just stretching.”
What: DOI 10.1016/j.cjca.2022.09.019