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According to a Canadian study, replacing stretching with a yoga session after physical exercise would tend to lower blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk over 10 years. Something to get your mat out more often.
Zen activity par excellence, yoga has not finished surprising us. And if you haven’t practiced it yet, this new information might decide you. According to a Canadian study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, adding yoga to a regular physical training program promotes cardiovascular health and well-being, more so than the stretches usually offered.
Yoga VS stretching: what are the benefits?
To test the alleged benefits of yoga on cardiovascular health, investigators recruited 60 people with high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome for a physical training program. For 3 months, the participants divided into 2 groups therefore followed 30 minutes of aerobic training, 5 times a week, followed by either 15 minutes of yoga or 15 minutes of stretching. Measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, glucose and lipid levels, as well as risk factors were regularly established.
After 3 months, the researchers found a decrease in resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean blood pressure, and heart rate in both groups. However, systolic blood pressure was reduced by 10 mmHg with yoga versus 4 mmHg with stretching. The yoga approach also reduced resting heart rate and cardiovascular risk over 10 years (according to the Reynolds risk score).
A non-pharmacological therapeutic option
Although the exact mechanism underlying this positive effect is not fully understood, it therefore appears that yoga is more cardiovascularly beneficial than stretching. Good news for those who intend to improve their quality of life and well-being through accessible means”This study provides evidence for an additional non-pharmacological treatment option for cardiovascular risk reduction and blood pressure control in patients with arterial hypertension, as part of a primary prevention exercise program.”, confirms Dr. Paul Poirier, lead author. But yoga or not, the important thing is above all to maintain a regular activity. “We recommend that patients try to find exercise and stress relief for the management of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in whatever form they find most appealing” he concludes.
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Adding yoga to your weekly exercises improves your cardiovascular health
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