Everyone knows that aerobic exercise is good for the heart — but did you know that yoga also benefits cardiovascular health?
Research presented at the recent American College of Cardiology Middle East Conference in Dubai has shown that heart disease patients who practice yoga along with aerobic exercise had twice the benefits than those who performed only one alone.
The study looked specifically at the effect that both Indian yoga and aerobic training had on the risk factors of 750 obese heart disease patients with type-2 diabetes.
The participants were divided into three groups: one that performed aerobic exercise only; a second that performed Indian yoga only; and a third that did a combination of both.
At the end of the experimental period, the groups who performed either yoga or aerobic exercise had similar reductions in their blood pressure, overall cholesterol levels, triglycerides, LDL, weight and waist circumference.
However, the group that combined yoga and aerobics saw a two-times greater reduction in those risk factors compared to the other groups.
Not only that, those in the combined group saw a greater exercise capacity and heart function, specifically left ventricular ejection fraction improvements and diastolic function.
“Combined Indian yoga and aerobic exercise reduce mental, physical and vascular stress and can lead to decreased cardiovascular mortality and morbidity,” said Dr. Sonal Tanwar, PhD and Dr. Naresh Sen, two of the researchers. “Heart disease patients could benefit from learning Indian yoga and making it a routine part of daily life.”
Aside from the current study, yoga has been used to help improve sleeping patterns, improve blood glucose control, increase blow flow, build muscle and bone strength and help with flexibility and weight loss.
Tanwar, S. et al. (2017.) ‘Yoga and aerobic exercise together may improve heart disease risk factors.’
ACC Middle East Conference 2017 (2017).