Yoga and Heart Health

Posted 06/19/2015 | By HealthCorps

Practicing yoga regularly may reduce heart disease as effectively as walking or biking.  The research review in the European Journal of Prevention Cardiology (2014; doi:10.1177/2047407314562741) reviewed 37 randomized, controlled trials involving a total of 2,768 subjects.

Individuals who practiced yoga on a regular basis saw improvement in each of the following primary heart disease risk factors:

Blood pressure
Body mass index
LDL and HDL (cholesterol) levels

The researchers did note that yoga did not impact blood sugar levels. However, yoga, when combined with specific medication treatments for conditions like high blood pressure, also provided significant benefits.  The report did not have a clear physiologic explanation for the benefits, nor did it have information on how yoga compares to other exercise impact, or cost-ratio benefits.  The researchers did confirm that yoga is potentially beneficial as a heart-risk improvement factor.

-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach

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