Yoga Gets Hearts Healthy
Yoga and Meditation 3 Times a Week Improves Heart Disease Risk
Yoga Improves Blood Pressure continued...
While people with heart disease had the biggest improvement in blood vessel
function, that improvement "was independent of any improvements in blood
pressure," he says. And after six weeks it was the healthy patients who
posted the biggest improvements in blood pressure, pulse rate, and BMI.
"Even with a small number of patients for a short period of time there
was a benefit of yoga and meditation seen in people with heart disease," he
says. He says, however, that the researchers don't know the mechanism involved
in that benefit, which means that more study is needed.
Gerald F. Fletcher, MD, a cardiovascular disease specialist at the Mayo
Clinic Florida in Jacksonville, tells WebMD that "it is probably exercise.
There are several studies that suggest that exercise -- any kind of exercise --
improves oxygen consumption, which improves endothelial function."
Fletcher, who was not involved in the study, is a spokesman for the AHA.
"I'm not sure that meditation has a specific benefit, but if combining
meditation with exercise will get people to exercise, then I'm all for it. But
the most important message is that exercise works," Fletcher says.