Author(s): Satin JR, Linden W, Millman RD
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The evidence of cardiovascular benefits of yoga is promising, but lacks demonstrations of specificity compared to other interventions. PURPOSE: The present cross-sectional study examined cardiovascular health markers in long-term practitioners of yoga (yogis), runners, and sedentary individuals. METHODS: We compared physiological, psychological, and lifestyle variables associated with cardiovascular health across groups. RESULTS: Yogis (n = 47) and runners (n = 46) showed favorable profiles compared to sedentary individuals (n = 52) on heart rate, heart rate variability, depression, perceived stress, and cigarette smoking. Runners and male yogis showed superior aerobic fitness compared to the sedentary group. Runners reported greater social support compared to other groups. Yogis demonstrated a lower respiration rate compared to sedentary individuals and were more likely to refrain from eating meat compared to other groups. CONCLUSIONS: Yogis and runners demonstrated several cardiovascular health advantages over sedentary individuals. Our findings raise the possibility that yoga may improve aerobic fitness in men but not women.
This article was published in Ann Behav Med
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy