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Yoga could be as effective as blood pressure reducing medication

A recent study has suggested that yoga could be as effective as pills aimed to cut blood pressure. The research found that volunteers with elevated levels have seen an improvement after doing just 15 minutes of yoga a day.

Around 12 million adults take drugs for high blood pressure, this is the single biggest trigger or heart disease and strokes. New research involved 60 volunteers with raised blood pressure. After undertaking just 15 minutes of exercises, including the ‘downward dog’ pose, five times a week, saw a reduction in readings by 10%. The test also involved volunteers undertaking relaxation, deep breathing stretching or yoga, those who undertook yoga saw the most significant improvements. This typically lowered blood pressure by 9.7%.

Scientists have said this is a similar drop to those patients may see from taking medication given for high blood pressure. Although the study was small, the results have been deemed very promising. Yoga may offer a simple, free and low impact yet effective way to help the 75 million adults suffering from high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can damage the arteries and lead to cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

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More health benefits

Decrease stress
Yoga is known for its ability to ease stress and promote relaxation, multiple studies have shown that it can decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.

Relieves anxiety
Many people who start practicing yoga, use it as a way to cope with feelings of anxiety. Interestingly enough, there’s quite a bit of research showing that yoga can help reduce anxiety. It’s not entirely clear how yoga can reduce these symptoms, but yoga does emphasize the importance of being present in the moment and finding a sense of peace which can treat anxiety.

Reducing inflammation
As well as improving your mental health, studies have shown that practicing yoga may reduce inflammation as well. Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of disease like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Whilst more research is needed to confirm the beneficial effects of yoga on inflammation, these findings indicate that it may help protect against certain diseases caused by chronic inflammation.

Improving quality of life
Yoga is becoming increasing common as an adjunct therapy to help improve quality of life. Studies have shown that yoga may help to improve sleep quality, enhance spiritual wellbeing, improve social function and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with cancer.

Fight depression
Chronic pain can be a persistent problem that affects millions of people as well as having a number of causes, from injuries to arthritis. There’s a growing body of research which shows how practicing yoga could help many types of chronic pain. More research is required but incorporating yoga into your daily routine may be beneficial for those who suffer from chronic pain.