A new study suggests that practicing yoga can be useful for those who suffer from hypertension or are looking to lower blood pressure
A recent study confirms what previous studies had already suggested, regarding the possibility that practicing yoga might help to lower blood pressure. This study on the practice of yoga for hypertensive patients was carried out by researchers at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), and presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hypertension.
Dr. Debbie Cohen and her colleagues at Penn State looked at 120 individuals who were then randomly divided into three groups. The average age of participants was 50 years. The study lasted 24 weeks, during which those who belonged to the first group started a yoga program, carrying out two or three weekly sessions. Those who were assigned to the second group were required to go for walks, as well as following a diet and weight loss advice, and those who were assigned to the third group followed a program including both yoga and dietary advice.
Researchers measured participants’ blood pressure at the beginning of the study, 12 weeks in, and finally at the end of the 24-week study.
The data collected showed that those who practiced yoga had experienced a drop in systolic blood pressure after just 12 weeks, while both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were shown to have decreased at the end of the entire 24 weeks.
Although the most significant effects were observed in the group that practiced yoga, the researchers also observed positive effects on blood pressure in the other two groups.
Dr. Cohen explains that these results suggest that practicing yoga could be an effective form of therapy for patients with slight or moderate hypertension who would rather avoid drug treatment. She adds that this activity could be particularly effective when complemented with other lifestyle changes.
This study therefore confirms the benefits of yoga on health and wellbeing, but also highlights the importance of modifying your lifestyle in order to lower blood pressure without the use of additional medication, just like our program for blood pressure reduction, which helps you reach this objective with a tailored approach.
Let us start practicing yoga and adapting our lifestyle to lower blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk.
Scientific articles below:
- Effects of 1-year yoga on cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged and older adults with metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial (Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2015 Apr 30;7:40) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440276/
- Slow breathing and hypoxic challenge: cardiorespiratory consequences and their central neural substrates (PLoS One. 2015 May 14;10(5):e0127082) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4431729/
- Additional benefit of yoga to standard lifestyle modification on blood pressure in prehypertensive subjects: a randomized controlled study (Hypertension Research (2015) 38, 48–55) http://www.nature.com/hr/journal/v38/n1/full/hr2014126a.html
- Randomised controlled trial of a 12 week yoga intervention on negative affective states, cardiovascular and cognitive function in post-cardiac rehabilitation patients (BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Oct 24;14:411) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4218996/