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Surprising Science

Yoga Improves Heart Health, Aids in Weight Loss

Yoga may be a good activity to take up if weight-loss is your New Year's resolution. Recent studies indicate it's just as good as brisk walking or cycling.

If you’re searching for a New Year’s resolution, the internet isn’t lacking in ideas. Weight loss is always a popular goal, but what about there’s always the method are you going to go about it? A new study may incline some to take up yoga, as researchers suggest it has the same benefits as cycling and brisk walking.

Mandy Oaklander from Time wrote on the study that was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.The study included 2,768 participants who were reviewed over 37 controlled trials.

The study found that compared to people that didn’t exercise, those who practiced yoga saw significant improvements to their cardio-metabolic health, including BMI, blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels. However, researchers could not give a concrete explanation for why these physiological improvements were seen in participants practicing yoga. The researchers had some suggestions for the cause in their paper:

“The similarity in effectiveness on risk factors between the two forms of exercise suggest that there could be comparable working mechanisms, with some possible physiological aerobic benefits occurring with yoga practice, and some stress-reducing, relaxation effect occurring with aerobic exercise.”

As yoga becomes a popular means of maintaining health, researchers write that it’s worth more rigorous study, especially after their findings:

“This review demonstrates the potential of yoga to have an impact on concrete, physiological outcomes that represent some of the greatest health burdens today.”

Read more at Time

Photo Credit: Evgeny Atamanenko /Shutterstock


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