Recent Study Confirms: Risk Factors for Heart Disease Reduced by Yoga

More scientific research is confirming what many people already believe to be true about the health benefits of yoga. A regular yoga practice may provide similar health benefits as walking, jogging or other cardiovascular intensive exercise.

The European Journal of Preventative Cardiology correlates yoga with heart health.


A new article published inside the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology implies that practicing yoga leads to lowered cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, cholesterol, and pulse rate. In fact, the results were comparable to biking or walking. This improvement was shown both in healthy individuals as well as in those at elevated risk.


Lead author in the article, Myriam Hunink, said, “Theseresults indicate that yoga is potentially extremely helpful and in my view worth pursuing as being a risk improvement practice.” This article took a careful look at some 37 discrete studies involving 2,800 people. Inside the studies, participants were assigned to either practice yoga or perhaps a “regular” exercise, including biking or walking. A control group was asked to keep their routine identical.


When compared to the control group, the yoga and exercise participants saw reduced risk in cardiovascular health, including lowered “bad” cholesterol and higher “good” cholesterol. Blood heart and pressure rate also dropped. Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said, “The benefits may be because of working the muscles and breathing, that may bring more oxygen in the body, leading to lower blood pressure level.” She also credited yoga with reducing the participant’s stress levels, which might bring about overall improved health.


This is among the first to show a clear connection between yoga and cardiovascular health though prior research has associated yoga with weight loss and stress reduction already. An ongoing study at Brown University in Providence has linked mindfulness to cardiovascular health. For those who already practice yoga, this research is a great endorsement to stay on the mat.


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