Adding yoga to aerobic workouts can effectively reduce high blood pressure

How to lower blood pressure

Yoga can help increase flexibility and balance, but the ancient practice could have another benefit: helping to lower blood pressure.

A Case Study on How Yoga & Aerobics Can Lower Blood Pressure

The study involved 60 individuals with high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome, a group of health conditions that amplify the risk of heart disease and stroke. The participants completed 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week, followed by 15 minutes of yoga or regular muscle stretching for three months.

During the study, both groups demonstrated improvements in resting heart rates and blood pressure, although the yoga practitioners exhibited better outcomes. Yoga participants significantly decreased their systolic blood pressure by 10 points, compared to the stretching group’s 4-point decrease. Moreover, yoga participants manifested significant reductions in 10-year risks of heart attack and stroke when compared with the stretching group.

The researchers hypothesized that the calming effects of yoga may provide an advantage, as other studies have linked yoga to reduced cortisol levels, a stress hormone. The results were published in December 2022 in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications. Regular aerobic exercise is known to be beneficial for people with high blood pressure, but recent studies suggest that adding yoga to aerobic exercise can further improve blood pressure control.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to promote overall health and well-being. It has been shown to be effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which can contribute to high blood pressure. In addition, yoga may help improve the function of the endothelium, the inner lining of blood vessels, which plays a critical role in blood pressure regulation.

Aerobic workouts

Aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, running, or cycling, are also known to have a positive effect on blood pressure. It helps strengthen the heart and improve blood flow, which can reduce the workload on the heart and lower high blood pressure. However, some people may find aerobic exercise too intense or difficult, especially if they have other health conditions such as arthritis or joint pain.

Combining yoga with aerobic exercise can provide a low-impact, yet effective way to lower high blood pressure. Yoga postures can help improve flexibility, balance, and strength, which can make the aerobic exercise more comfortable and enjoyable. In addition, yoga breathing techniques, such as deep breathing or pranayama, can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can further improve blood pressure control.

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Several studies have investigated the benefits of combining yoga with aerobic exercise for blood pressure control. One study published in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy found that a combination of yoga and aerobic exercise was more effective at reducing blood pressure than either activity alone. Another study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that practicing yoga and aerobic exercise together for six months significantly lowered blood pressure in people with hypertension.

To incorporate yoga into your aerobic exercise routine, consider taking a yoga class or finding a yoga video online. Look for a class or video that focuses on gentle, low-impact yoga postures and breathing techniques. You can also try adding a few yoga postures and breathing exercises to your regular aerobic exercise routine, such as stretching before and after your workout or taking a few minutes to practice deep breathing.

Final Words

Combining yoga with aerobic exercise can be an effective way to lower high blood pressure. The gentle, low-impact nature of yoga postures and breathing techniques can make the aerobic exercise more comfortable and enjoyable, while also providing additional benefits for blood pressure control. Consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have high blood pressure or other health conditions.

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