Yoga as good as aerobics for reducing heart disease risk, research says

Yoga as good as aerobics for reducing heart disease risk, research says

Yoga ‘can prevent heart disease risk’? Yoga may be beneficial in managing and improving risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, says a review* published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

A review in the Netherlands of 37 studies involving nearly 3,000 people found yoga was independently linked to a lowering of heart risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Yoga does not count towards the recommended physical activity that we should all do each week.

Experts say it may still be beneficial.

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing.

There are lots of different types of yoga – tantric, Hatha and Ashtanga to name a few – but most are not strenuous enough to count towards the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity the government says we should get each week to give our heart and lungs a workout.

Yoga does count as a muscle strengthening exercise – something the same guidelines say we should do on two or more days a week, every week.

Prof Myriam Hunink, from Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, set out to investigate what effect, if any, yoga might have on heart health.

Compared with no exercise, yoga had significant benefits – it was linked to a lower risk of obesity, high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology reports.