Yoga might reduce the risk of developing heart disease, according to a new study.
Yoga is an ancient system of relaxation, exercise, and healing with origins in Indian philosophy. The initial concepts have been adapted over time through translation and scholarly interpretation, but the fundamental principles describing the practice of yoga in the quest of the soul remain largely intact. Yoga has undergone much scientific study, with various psychological and physical theories suggested.
In a recent study, researchers conducted a comprehensive literature search for well-designed clinical trials evaluating the effects of yoga in adults. Thirty-seven trials were ultimately included in the review and 32 in a separate meta-analysis.
The researchers found that when comparing people who did not exercise to those who those who practiced yoga, yoga resulted in significant improvements in blood pressure, body weight, body mass index, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol. However, when compared to other exercise, there was no significant difference in the results.
The authors concluded that there is promising evidence on the benefits of yoga on heart health. Larger-scale, well-designed clinical trials are needed to further evaluate these findings.
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