This study confirms many people’s feelings that exercise may be useful in the control of hypertension. Based on these findings, yoga would be a useful anjunct in the lowering of blood pressure in certain populations.
Said Dr. Howard Weintraub, a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. He was not apart of the new study.
This study, researchers led by Dr. Debbie Cohen of the University of Pennsylvania tracked 58 women and men, aged 38 to 62, for six months. The study could not prove a cause and effect relationship but doing yoga two to three times a week was associated with an average drop in blood pressure readings from 133/80 to 130/77.
In comparison, the average decrease in blood pressure was smaller (134/83 to 132/82) among people who ate a special diet but did not do yoga. In a surprise, doing yoga in tandem with a special diet did not outperform doing yoga alone, blood pressure numbers feel only slightly (135/83 to 134/81) among people who ate a special diet and also did yoga.
The small decline in blood pressure among people who ate a special diet along with yoga may be because doing both required a greater amount of time, making it more difficult for participants to stick with their regimens.
Even though the change was small, Weintraub said that the study shows yoga can have a favorable effect on hypertension, some large population studies have suggested that changes in this magnitude could have very significant long term benefits. The study did have some limitations including short length and most participants were young and had milder forms of high blood pressure.
Dr. David Friedman, chief of Heart Failure Services at the North Shore-LIJ Plainview Hospital, in Plainview, NY, agrees that the ancient Indian practice of yoga can help ease hypertension.
Yoga, along with deep breathing exercises, meditation and inner reflection, is a good adjunctive and integrative cardiovascular approach to better health, including lowering blood pressure, as this data suggests. In addition to proper diet and aerobic physical fitness most days of the week, I recommend that my patients take time each day for the above measures of finding disciplined inner peace, for improved health and well being.
The findings were presented Wednesday at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Hypertension, in San Francisco. Findings presented at medical meetings typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Yoga is best preformed in the morning, after a healthy breakfast.
Article Source: Health News at Health News.com