A Surprising Tool to Reduce High Blood Pressure and Coronary Heart Disease By Deon Hall-Garriques
Today, it is widely known that yoga can improve strength, flexibility, and balance. The practice emphasizes deep breathing and meditation, which helps to promote relaxation by decreasing the release of “stress” hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. However, new studies are now showing that yoga coupled with aerobic exercise at least five times a week can help to decrease high blood pressure (HBP) and coronary heart disease.
A few studies to highlight include:
Published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, researchers conducted a three-month study, that evaluated the effects of yoga on a group of participants with HBP and metabolic syndrome. The results were astounding. The group’s systolic blood pressure, which measures the force of heartbeats decreased by 10 mmHg.
“Our study shows that structured yoga practices can be a healthier addition to aerobic exercise than simply muscle stretching,” the researchers concluded.
In another study involving over 4,600 coronary heart disease patients published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine, the authors found that participants who performed a yoga routine – in addition to proper medical care – significantly improved their serum triglycerides, cholesterol profile, blood pressure, body mass index and health-related quality of life.
Another study found that practicing slow-paced yoga two times per week could reduce the occurrence of episodes in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Another study found that practicing yoga for eight weeks increased exercise capacity lowered markers of inflammation, and improved the quality of life in patients with congestive heart failure.
The poses that have been found to be the most beneficial for managing blood pressure. According to YogaJournal.com Balasana (child’s pose), Baddha Konasana (bound ankle pose), Virisana (hero pose), and Savasana (corpse pose) as calming positions that can also increase circulation.
According to Hugh Calkins, M.D., director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Johns Hopkins, “a large number of studies show that yoga benefits many aspects of cardiovascular health.” And this, says Dr. Calkins, has led to a new sense of acceptance. “There’s been a major shift in the last five years or so in the number of cardiologists and other professionals recognizing that these benefits are real,” he reported.
If you are currently participating in regular yoga practice, you are making an investment in yourself that will pay dividends in the long run. If you have been considering joining a practice, it's never too late to start.
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Sources for this article include:
In Good Health,
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide medical advice. The purpose is to provide education and a broader understanding to my readers. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. I do not recommend or prescribe, or recommend changing dosage or discontinuing, any prescription medications or pharmaceutical drugs.
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