Yoga improves CV health

It’s good news for patients with lower physical tolerance, like those with pre-existing cardiac conditions, musculoskeletal or joint pain and the elderly, who prefer not to perform traditional types of exercise.

They can achieve similar benefits in cardiovascular disease risk reduction from the gentler modality, say researchers from the US and the Netherlands who conducted a meta-analysis of 37 studies involving more than 2700 participants randomly assigned to take yoga classes.

According to the authors, the popular mind-body technique can improve risk factors associated with CVD and the metabolic syndrome, with improvements comparable to brisk walking and cycling.

On average, compared to non-exercise controls, people who practiced yoga were able to lower their blood pressure by 4.98mmHg, total cholesterol by 18.48mg/dl, triglycerides by 25.89mg/dl and heart rate by 5.27 beats/min. They also lost an average of 2.32kg in weight.