Yoga Aids Weight Loss
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Yoga Aids Weight Loss
By Bruce Elliot
The risks of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and Insulin Resistance Syndrome
(IRS) go hand in hand. Current studies suggest that the more belly fat
you carry, the more likely you are to succumb to one or both killer diseases.
Couple that with our high stress, low downtime lifestyles, and most of
us are ticking time bombs waiting to happen. But a recent review of scientific
literature spanning over 30 years of research suggests that yoga may contain
part of the solution to reducing this epidemic. At present 37% of all
deaths are attributed to cardiovascular disease, so anything that shows
promise of reversing that trend should be welcomed.
37 studies into blood pressure indicated that those undertaking Raja
yoga and its coupled meditation (the 'classic' yoga), exhibited more than
a 75% drop. This over 3/4s drop in their blood pressure was in their diastolic
measure, indicating a better, stronger operation of the circulatory system
and heart. This drop alone would indicate a major benefit for those with
cardiovascular problems in the first place, as decreased pressure may
mean they would see a reduction in other blood pressure based problems
such as headaches.
These studies, spanning over 34 years, suggest that the average weight loss because of yoga practice was between 1.5 and 13.6% of initially body weight. Specifically, 18 clinical trials demonstrated that there was a marked improvement in body weight and body composition - The clinical trials, which took place in six countries, suggest that the weight loss benefit of yoga should not be ignored.
Lipid profiles were examined in 14 studies and the news was good there
too. LDL cholesterol, associated with hypertension and CVD, dropped between
13 and 26%, which is a marked improvement. Additionally, an increase in
good cholesterol was charted. This shows that yoga affects how the body
metabolizes and stores fat and possibly makes us use the food we eat more
efficiently. The overall reduction in cholesterol is specifically good
news for those with high levels and facing coronary disease warnings,
as yoga is easy for anyone to start, and has few barriers to learning.
Insulin resistance (where the body fails to use glucose in the blood
for energy, causing diabetes) was examined in 13 studies. It was concluded
that the markers of insulin resistance were improved significantly. In
all but one of the eight studies, whether they lasted just over a month
or up to 12 months, it was suggested that improvements were reported in
type 2 diabetes. In health adults, fasting glucose levels were improved.
A specific random control trial of diabetic adults in the UK showed a
decline in fasting glucose and glycohemoglobin, a form of hemoglobin increased
in diabetics. This is an especially positive finding as IRS causes serious
The evidence that Yoga is a solid form of both exercise and preventative
support is mounting daily. Yoga is easy to get into and creates these
favorable health conditions, alongside a reduction in stress response,
which in turn leads to greater feelings of wellbeing, positivity and possibly
healthy eating. Since there are no barriers to learning, and very few
contraindications, yoga should be considered in anyone's regimen for combating
the issues caused by lifestyle, health and genetic choices.
Bruce Elliot, a medical researcher with ten years of experience in cardiovascular
research and a particular interest in medically approved Weight
Loss Secrets, is currently studying how yoga can help combat stress
and obesity. In an era where people are bombarded with commercials of
how to manage their weight, such as promotion codes for Medifast diet
or promotional codes for Nutrisystem diet, it is great to know that yoga,
an ancient practice, has significant weight loss benefits as well.