Yoga For A Healthy Heart
According to a new review of studies on yoga and its benefits, practicing yoga could be as beneficial to your heart as taking brisk walks, going on bicycle rides and even aerobics. It is especially good for older people as well as those with health problems as it is easier to tolerate than many other physical exercises. Based on 37 clinical trials, it has been found that yoga can help in lowering blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and other risk factors that affect the heart when compared to aerobic exercise.
Results Of Studies On Yoga For Heart Disease
According to one study, it is estimated that 15 million people in the US have practiced yoga at least once in their life. Researchers that conducted the review focused on the effects of yoga on cardiovascular disease and also risk factors such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, abnormal levels of cholesterol and excess abdominal fat. These risk factors make up a profile that is known as metabolic syndrome and are the leading causes of heart disease and diabetes.
37 controlled trials in random order were reviewed by a study team. The trials involved 2,768 participants and either looked at yoga in comparison to aerobic exercises or to no exercise. The average age of the participants was 50 and they were studied for anywhere from 12 weeks to 1 year.
It was found that there were significant improvements in a vast range of risk factors among participants that practiced yoga. Here is a brief look at the results found:
- Systolic blood pressure was lowered by an average of 5.21 mmHg.
- Diastolic blood pressure went down by 4.9 mmHg.
- LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, decreased by an average of 12.14 mg/DL.
- HDL, also known as “good” cholesterol, increased by an average of 3.20 mg/DL.
- Average heart rate decreased by a little more than 5 beats/minute.
- Weight loss averaged a little more than 5 pounds.
2 Best Yoga Poses To Keep Your Heart Healthy
Here is a look at how you can use yoga for healthy heart:
Padangusthasana: This is also known as the Big Toe Pose and is one of the best ways to use yoga for heart disease. The first step is to stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Next, inhale and then exhale while bending forward to touch your big toes. You can also hang forward and let your left hand grab your right elbow and vice versa. Now, draw your belly in and lift your buttock bones towards the sky. Activate your quadriceps and allow your head and neck to relax down. If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend your knees a little. If you are flexible, draw your torso towards your legs. Hold this pose for 5 to 10 breath cycles.
Supta Padangusthasana: Also known as Reclining Big Toe Pose, this is great for high blood pressure, relieves sciatica and backaches and provides other yoga benefits as well. First, lie on your back with your arms along the sides and your legs extended. Inhale and bend your knee and clasp your right big toe with your right hand. Place your left hand on top of the upper part of your left thigh to stabilize your left leg down and reach through your pointed toes. Now exhale and straighten your right leg as far as your flexibility allows. Next, inhale and lift your head up towards your right leg, keeping your left leg down. Hold this pose for 5 breath cycles. Inhale as you place your head back on the floor and exhale as you put your right leg down. Switch sides and repeat.
Yoga can do wonders for your health and now it has been found that it could have positive effects on your heart and help in keeping it healthy. To keep heart problems away and gain many wonderful yoga benefits, practice it regularly.