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The following article was published through the European Society of Cardiology and is not the property of West Hartford Chiropractic LLC.
Retrieved from: European Society of Cardiology
"This finding is significant," they note, "as individuals who cannot or prefer not to perform traditional aerobic exercise might still achieve similar benefits in [cardiovascular] risk reduction." Their study is published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.(1,2)Yoga, an ancient mind-body practice which originated in India and incorporates physical, mental, and spiritual elements, has been shown in several studies to be effective in improving cardiovascular risk factors, with reduction in the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This meta-analysis was performed, say the investigators, to appraise the evidence and provide a realistic pooled estimate of yoga's effectiveness when measured against exercise and no 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".Commenting on the results, senior author Professor Myriam Hunink from Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, said that, although the evidence of yoga's beneficial effect in cardiovascular health is growing, a physiological explanation for this effect remains unclear.
"Also unclear," she added, "are the dose-response relationship and the relative costs and benefits of yoga when compared to exercise or medication. However, these results indicate that yoga is potentially very useful and in my view worth pursuing as a risk improvement practice."Moreover, in view of yoga's ease of uptake, the investigators also note that evidence supports yoga's acceptability to "patients with lower physical tolerance like those with pre-existing cardiac conditions, the elderly, or those with musculoskeletal or joint pain".
"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".
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