Hot yoga in rooms heated to 105F can help reduce high blood pressure

  • Yoga practiced in a room heated to 40°C (105°F) was revealed by a study to positively impact people with high blood pressure.
  • Also known as Bikram yoga, enthusiasts swear by it for weight loss and heart disease prevention.
  • However, critics argue that the extreme heat may adversely affect people doing hot yoga.

Scientists have claimed that performing hot yoga can benefit people with high blood pressure.

The trendy style of yoga, also known as Bikram yoga, has been claimed by yogis that it can protect people from heart disease and also serve as a weight loss aid.

But critics have warned that the intense heat and sweating may be too extreme.

In the study led by Texas State University cardiovascular physiology laboratory director Dr. Stacy Hunter, results suggested that hot yoga could be effective in reducing blood pressure without medications.

However, Dr. Hunter added that “larger studies need to be done before we can say with confidence that hot yoga has a positive impact on blood pressure.”

The study involved 10 participants between ages 20 and 65 years with either high blood pressure or stage one hypertension without medications or strenuous exercise six months prior to the study.

Five participants were randomly assigned to perform hot yoga classes for 12 weeks, one hour thrice a week, in a heated room of up to 40°C (105°F), while the other group of five to a control group of no classes.

Results revealed that after 12 weeks of hot yoga, systolic blood pressure dropped to 121mmHg from an average of 126mmHg at the start of the study. Ideally, systolic blood pressure is between 90mmHg and 120mmHg.

On the other hand, a lower average diastolic pressure was also noted among the hot yoga group, from 82mmHg to 79mmHg. The ideal average diastolic pressure is considered to be between 60mmHg and 80mmHg. No changes were noted among the group without yoga classes.

Additionally, those who performed hot yoga had reduced stress levels compared to the non-yoga group who did not, according to the research presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions, New Orleans.

Despite the initial findings being very limited, still, the results are promising in terms of discovering the impact of hot yoga on blood pressure in adults without the use of medicines, says Dr. Hunter. 

A slew of yoga enthusiasts including Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Demi Moore and David Beckham swear by hot yoga for weight loss, better flexibility and strength.

However, Dr. Hunter advised people to take safety precautions and consulting with their doctor before starting a regime.

A 2015 study by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse found that hot yoga can increase risks for heat-related illnesses especially if individuals fail to hydrate adequately during and after exercise. So, proper hydration is extremely crucial.

Source: Daily Mail Online

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