There are many reasons to do yoga – not only is it a great workout, but a recently published study shows that it can lower your blood pressure in six months. Though the changes recorded were only slight, it adds to yoga’s long list of health benefits.
For the study, researchers followed 58 women and men between the ages for 38 to 62 for six months. They performed yoga 2-3 times a week through the six-month period. By the end of the study, they found an average drop in blood pressure readings from 133/80 to 130/77. While the drop in blood pressure was slight, it was still larger than a different group of people who didn’t practice yoga, but ate a special diet to help lower blood pressure. Their blood pressure dropped from 134/83 to 132/82. A normal blood pressure is between 100/65 and 120/80. While the top number and bottom number measure different aspects of blood pressure, a reduction in either number is beneficial.
Although the study showed the positive effects of yoga, it couldn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship between the two. This is just one of several studies that have shown that yoga has a positive effect on blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the most common reason for visiting doctors. Around 30% of Americans have hypertension. Most of those people are over the age of 65, but there are many who do develop hypertension in their 30s or 40s. If you have hypertension, don’t use yoga as a substitute instead of working to lower your blood pressure with a physician.
Lowering blood pressure is only one of many health benefits of yoga. It’s a great way to stay in shape, increase your flexibility, and help you relax. Multiple studies have also shown that yoga can reduce one’s risk of various chronic diseases, like depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia. If you’re interested in trying out yoga, try our free Yoga in 10 video series.