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The Heart Health Benefits of Yoga

By Debra Rodzinak

For those who suffer from hypertension or prehypertension, yoga may be one solution to lower blood pressure.  Doctors warn that patients who have prehypertension and do not change their current lifestyle will more than likely develop hypertension.  Prehypertension is defined as having blood pressure between 120-139 mmHg.  Patients who have prehypertension and high blood pressure are at increased risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.

Recent Study

In a recent study, scientists studied patients who suffered with hypertension with no other serious health issues.  Divided into two groups, one group continued with its regular lifestyle without making any changes and the other group practiced yoga for three months.  The average age of the participants was in the mid 50s.

After three months, the group that participated in yoga showed a significant decrease in their blood pressure by 4.5 mmHg, while those in the control group did not change their blood pressure numbers.

Some experts think that yoga helps with blood pressure due to the overall positive effect that yoga seems to have on the mind.  As a tradition in Indian culture, yoga has been long seen as a natural way to lower blood pressure for those with prehypertension.  Since hypertension is now affecting many young Indians, scientists in the region are looking at yoga as an economical practice that can be adapted by the masses and assist in improving India’s overall health.

Yoga Exercise for the Heart

Surya Namaskar, also known as sun salutations, is a yoga sequence of poses that has been found to help improve heart health.  This sequence of poses stretches almost every muscle and organ in the body.  In a particular study, it was also found to improve heart health.  Scientists believe that the particular series of sequences and stretches increases oxygen to all parts of the body and improves overall heart rate.

Experts also agree that any form of yoga is beneficial for overall health and happiness.  There are many different poses to choose from and those who have limitations can modify the poses or perform other poses to suit their limitations.  Yoga should be seen as a personal journey to better health, not a competition with others.

No matter what type of yoga poses you decided to do, just remember that if you suffer from prehypertension, the simple act of getting up and moving the body is better than doing nothing at all. 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.



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