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New study: lowering blood pressure with yoga
In Germany, around 20 to 30 million citizens suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension). Worldwide more than a billion people are affected. The disease is often treated with medication. A study has now shown that yoga can also lower blood pressure.
Number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases
According to the German Hypertension League (DHL), around 20 to 30 million people in this country suffer from high blood pressure. Untreated hypertension is the number one risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and therefore responsible for many deaths from heart attacks or strokes. Those affected are often advised to take medication quickly, but it is not necessary to resort to medication to lower blood pressure. Among other things, yoga can help here, as shown in a new study.
Lower blood pressure naturally
Hypertension is defined by a systolic blood pressure of over 140 mmHg and a diastolic blood pressure of more than 90 mmHg. Meanwhile, however, the voices are increasing that think that 120 instead of 140 should be the new blood pressure target.
In addition to being overweight or obese, risk factors include too little exercise, an unhealthy, overly salty diet, increased alcohol consumption and stress.
To lower blood pressure, it is usually advised to exercise regularly, eat a healthy and varied diet, and to avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and obesity. Home remedies for high blood pressure, such as Kneipp treatments, can also help improve blood pressure. And also regular yoga, as researchers now report.
Yoga for cardiac arrhythmias
Just a few months ago, scientists from the European Society of Cardiology reported an investigation that yoga massively improves the quality of life for people with sudden cardiac arrhythmia.
The Indian philosophical teaching with its mental and physical exercises has even more positive effects on the cardiovascular system. According to a new study, people with pre-hypertension can significantly lower their blood pressure through yoga.
The results of the scientists led by Dr. Ashutosh Angrish, cardiologist at "Sir Gangaram Hospital" in Delhi (India) has now been published in specialist magazines such as "EurekAlert!"
Stretching exercises, breath control and meditation
"Patients with pre-hypertension (slightly elevated blood pressure) are likely to develop hypertension unless they improve their lifestyle," said Dr. Ashutosh Angrish. "Both pre-hypertension and high blood pressure increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure."
The study examined the effects of Hatha yoga on 60 subjects with pre-hypertension who were otherwise healthy. The average age of the participants was 54 years.
All patients were recommended a healthier lifestyle with aerobics, a balanced diet and smoking cessation; half of the group practiced yoga with stretching exercises, breath control and meditation for three months in parallel.
Prevent high blood pressure from developing
The researchers found that blood pressure hardly changed in the subjects who did not practice yoga. In the yoga group, on the other hand, the mean of the 24-hour measurement of both diastolic and arterial blood pressure dropped by 4.5 and 4.9 mmHg, respectively.
“Even if the reduction in blood pressure is only slight, it is of medical importance, because a reduction of just two mmHg in diastolic blood pressure can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by six percent and that of a stroke and an ischemic attack by up to 15 percent "Says Dr. Angrish.
However, according to the scientist, it is not clear exactly how the effect of reducing blood pressure comes about. According to the study authors, people with pre-hypertension should practice hatha yoga for one hour a day. "This can prevent the development of high blood pressure and also leads to general well-being," said Dr. Angrish. (ad)