Yoga Shown to Assist with High Blood Pressure
A growing body of research suggests that yoga has the ability to ease chronic pain, alleviate anxiety and reduce depression. Now, a new study indicates that yoga may also be able to reduce high blood pressure in people with pre-hypertension.
According to a recent study by a team of Indian researchers, yoga appears to help lower high blood pressure when paired with other healthy lifestyle changes.
Presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India, the study included 60 adults who had slightly elevated blood pressure. To assess the potential positive impact of yoga, the researchers split the participants into two groups: a control group that made conventional lifestyle changes (moderate exercise, dietary changes, etc.) and a second group that practiced hatha yoga in addition to making these same conventional lifestyle changes.
After 90 days, the researchers found that subjects in the yoga group showed notable decreases in blood pressure, while participants in the control group did not.
What Is Hatha Yoga?
A combination of stretching, controlled breathing and meditation, hatha yoga has been practiced for thousands of years. Over the past decade, more and more studies have uncovered measurable health benefits associated with yoga. At the same time, modern research has also shown that ordinary meditation may also lower blood pressure when practiced regularly.
Should I Practice Yoga?
Because pre-hypertension can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, it's important for people to make lifestyle changes that promote healthier blood pressures. While recent studies point toward potential benefits related to yoga and meditation, a mountain of research has definitively shown that people can lower high blood pressure by losing weight, improving dietary habits and exercising regularly.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about smart strategies for improving your health. Since underlying factors could make exercise and certain medications risky for some people, it’s important to get a thorough evaluation.