- Three classes of hot yoga a week for 12 weeks significantly reduced blood pressure in people with stage 1 hypertension, preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions revealed.
- Experts believe that it is a combination of warmth along with breathing movements and flexibility that is responsible for this effect.
You watch a sizable puddle of sweat, trying to breathe, holding a pose that seems manner too long and you start to wonder: is hot yoga really better than non-Hades yoga?
According to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Science Sessions, it’s definitely a big plus for your blood vessels, even if it’s hard on your yoga mat.
Standard yoga at room temperature has been linked to better effects on blood pressure in previous research, but it is one of the few studies to specifically look at hot yoga.
The researchers recruited 10 men and women, aged 20 to 65, all with high blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension. regular physical activity for at least six months prior to the study period.
Five participants were assigned a 12-week hot yoga class, three times a week for at least an hour per session, in a room at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The other five were a control group and did not do yoga at all, hot or not.
By the end of the three months, systolic blood pressure for the yoga group had dropped from an average of 126 mmHg to 121 mmHg. The mean diastolic pressure also decreased from 82 mmHg to 79 mmHg. Blood pressure did not change in the control group.
Although this is preliminary research and a very small sample size, the researchers found the results to be promising, said lead study author Stacy Hunter, Ph.D., assistant professor and director. from the Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory at Texas State University.
“I think the bottom line is that there is some evidence to suggest that hot yoga can lower blood pressure in the absence of medication,” she said. The runner’s world. “For those who enjoy this form of exercise, this may be a new way to treat hypertension, although more studies need to be done before this can be said for sure.”
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But does it really have to be that hot?
Hunter confirms that it’s not the practice of yoga alone – or even the heat itself – that seems to lower blood pressure, but their unique combination. Unlike other types of fitness practiced in the heat, such as a summer workout class, yoga emphasizes breathing exercises and flexibility, as well as isometric contractions. When combined with heat exposure, it intensifies the benefits of each, Hunter said.
“Each of them has been individually shown to reduce blood pressure or improve blood vessel function,” she said. The results of their research are probably due to the combination of all these beneficial variables.
But keep in mind that hot yoga isn’t for everyone, Hunter added. Exercising in hot conditions can increase the risk of heat-related illnesses for some people. She suggested seeing a doctor before exercising, focusing on staying hydrated, and knowing the signs and symptoms of heat illness.
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