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Updated: November 12, 2009 19:19 IST

Yoga boosts heart health

PTI
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A girl performing Yoga on the occasion of Food Safety Run and Walkthon to mark the World Food Day celebration at India Gate in New Delhi. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
THE HINDU
A girl performing Yoga on the occasion of Food Safety Run and Walkthon to mark the World Food Day celebration at India Gate in New Delhi. File Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Want to have a healthy heart? Practice yoga daily as Indian researchers have claimed that breathing exercises, stretching, relaxation and meditation improve heart health.

According to the researchers at IIT-Roorkee in Uttarakhand, heart rate variability, a sign of a healthy heart, has been shown to be higher in yoga practitioners than in non-practitioners.

Ramesh Kumar Sunkaria, Vinod Kumar and Suresh Chandra Saxena of the Electrical Engineering Department evaluated two small groups of men in order to see whether yoga can improve heart health.

The team said that in their preliminary study of 84 volunteers, there was strengthening of parasympathetic (vagal) control in subjects who regularly practice yoga, which is indicative of better autonomic control over heart rate and thus a healthier heart.

They analysed the “HRV spectra” of the electrocardiograms (ECG) of 42 healthy male volunteers who were non-yogic practitioners, and 42 who are experienced practitioners, all volunteers were aged between 18 and 48 years.

The spectral analysis of HRV is an important tool in exploring heart health and the mechanisms of heart rate regulation, according to the team.

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