Live Better
 
 

Yoga for heart health

Adverse to aerobics? A Harvard University study suggests Yoga may have the same cardiovascular perks

Getting fit and keeping your heart healthy doesn’t have to mean running laps of the park – yoga may be as good for your heart as aerobic exercise, a Harvard University study suggests.

Researchers from the US and the Netherlands looked at 37 clinical trials on the effects of yoga, and found that downward dogs and sun salutations may well play a positive role in reducing cardiovascular risk factors (like blood pressure, cholesterol and BMI), similar to the effect of cycling, brisk walking or other aerobic activities.

It’s encouraging news for older people, those with health challenges, or those who simply feel daunted by more vigorous types of exercise. “This finding is significant, as individuals who cannot or prefer not to perform traditional aerobic exercise might still achieve similar benefits in (cardiovascular) risk reduction,” the authors, lead by Paula Chu, a doctoral candidate in health policy at Harvard University, say.

“Yoga has the potential to be a cost-effective treatment and prevention strategy given its low cost, lack of expensive equipment or technology, potential greater adherence and health-related quality of life improvements, and possible accessibility to larger segments of the population.”

Plus, yoga’s focus on the mind is a great way to relax, reduce tension and improve your mental health – so there are plenty more reasons to get into that warrior pose. Ready to get started? Find out the best type of yoga for you.

Read the full report in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology.

Learn more about the benefits of yoga and how to start your own routine.

Recommended Reading

6 ways to lose weight – and keep it off for good

Professor David Cameron-Smith reveals the science.

Read more

How to choose the best backpack

Don’t struggle under the weight – choose the right gear.

Read more

The best places to travel in Vietnam

Vietnam is full of timeless beauty to discover.

Read more

Can social media ruin your social life?

What’s social media doing to your mental state?

Read more

Nature vs nurture: siblings and mental health

Why mental health differs from sibling to sibling

Read more

How should you talk to young men about mental health?

The Black Dog Institute shares some advice.

Read more

How to make easy, natural home products

‘Granny skills’ advocate Rebecca Sullivan shares some ideas.

Read more