Yoga boosts heart health

November 09, 2009

Heart rate variability, a sign of a healthy heart, has been shown to be higher in yoga practitioners than in non-practitioners, according to research to be published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics.

The autonomic nervous system regulates the heart rate through two routes - the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The former causes the heart rate to rise, while, the parasympathetic slows it. When working well together, the two ensure that the heart rate is steady but ready to respond to changes caused by eating, the fight or flight response, or arousal.

The ongoing variation of heart rate is known as heart rate variability (HRV), which refers to the beat-to-beat changes in heart rate. In healthy individuals HRV is high whereas cardiac abnormalities lead to a low HRV.

Now, Ramesh Kumar Sunkaria, Vinod Kumar, and Suresh Chandra Saxena of the Electrical Engineering Department, at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, in Uttrakhand, India, have evaluated two small groups of men in order to see whether yoga practitioners can improve heart health. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that yoga practice may improve health through breathing exercises, stretching, postures, relaxation, and meditation.

The team analyzed the HRV "spectra" of the electrocardiograms (ECG) of forty two healthy male volunteers who are non-yogic practitioners, and forty two who are experienced practitioners, all volunteers were aged between 18 and 48 years.

The spectral analysis of HRV is, the team says, an important tool in exploring heart health and the mechanisms of heart rate regulation. The power represented by various spectral bands in short-term HRV are indicative of how well the heart responds to changes in the body controlled by the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.

The team explains that very low frequency (VLF) variations in the spectra are linked to the body's internal temperature control. Low frequency peaks are associated with the sympathetic control and high frequency with parasympathetic control.

The team concludes that in their preliminary study of 84 volunteers, there is strengthening of parasympathetic (vagal) control in subjects who regularly practice yoga, which is indicative of better autonomic control over heart rate and so a healthier heart.
-end-
"A comparative study on spectral parameters of HRV in yogic and non-yogic practitioners" in Int. J. Medical Engineering and Informatics, 2010, 2, 1, 1-14

Inderscience Publishers

Related Heart Rate Articles from Brightsurf:

Women veterans with PTSD have higher rate of heart disease
Women veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were 44% more likely to develop ischemic heart disease including heart attacks, compared to those without PTSD.

Flu vaccine rate less than 25% in young adults with heart disease, despite increased risk
In 2018, only about 25% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 with any cardiovascular disease received a flu shot, and in those with a history of a heart attack, only about 20% were vaccinated.

Depression risk detected by measuring heart rate changes
For the first time doctors have shown that measuring changes in 24-hour heart rate can reliably indicate whether or not someone is depressed.

Death rate dramatically less for young heart attack survivors who quit smoking
Among young people who have had a heart attack, quitting smoking is associated with a substantial benefit.

Say no to vaping: Blood pressure, heart rate rises in healthy, young nonsmokers
New research finds that nicotine-filled e-cigarettes cause increases in heart rate and blood pressure in young people, health issues that remain even after a vaping session.

Heart rate measurements of wearable monitors vary by activity, not skin color
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that while different wearable technologies, like smart watches and fitness trackers, can accurately measure heart rate across a variety of skin tones, the accuracy between devices begins to vary wildly when they measure heart rate during different types of everyday activities, like typing.

Researchers report first recording of a blue whale's heart rate
With a lot of ingenuity and a little luck, researchers monitored the heart rate of a blue whale in the wild.

Pupil dilation and heart rate, analyzed by AI, may help spot autism early
Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders often aren't diagnosed until a child is a few years of age, when behavioral interventions and speech/occupational therapy become less effective.

Heart rate variation due to stress affects auditory attention
Study shows that brain activity related to auditory perception parallels heart rate, offering new perspectives for the treatment of attention and communication disorders.

In HIE, lower heart rate variability signals stressed newborns
In newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, lower heart rate variability correlates with autonomic manifestations of stress shortly after birth, underscoring the importance of this reading as a valuable biomarker, according to Children's research presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Annual Meeting.

Read More: Heart Rate News and Heart Rate Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.