Research: PARSHAD and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 196

Abstract

PARSHAD and COLLEAGUES, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Tropical Medicine Research Institute, The University of the West Indies, Kingston 7, Jamaica, West Indies compared changes in some cardiovascular parameters before and after the practice of Yoga in healthy medical students.

Background

Yoga improves cardiovascular health in both healthy individuals and those with diagnosed heart disease. This study compares changes in some cardiovascular parameters before and after the practice of Yoga in healthy medical students.

Methodology

Sixty-four healthy medical students (57 females and 7 males), mean age 21.3 +/- 2.6 years, attending a Special Study Module 'Role of Dhyana Yoga in Stress Management', participated in this study. Systolic (SYS) and Diastolic (DIA) blood pressure, Heart Rate (HR), Stroke Volume (SV), Cardiac output (CO), Total Peripheral Resistance (TPR), Interbeat Interval (IBI), Left Ventricular Ejection Time (LVET), Arterial Compliance (Cwk) and Ascending Aorta Impedance (Zao) were measured before and after six weeks of yogic exercises. Various exercises included asanas (Postures), pranayama (Breathing), and dhyana (Meditation). Data were analyzed using Stata for Windows.

Results

Two-tailed paired t-test revealed that yoga practice caused significant increases in HR (p < 0.05), SV (p < 0.01), CO (p < 0.001) and Cwk (p < 0.01) and decreases in TPR (p < 0.001), IBI (p < 0.05) and Zao (p < 0.001) after practising yoga for 6 weeks as compared to before yoga practice. No significant differences were, however observed in SYS, DIA, Mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) and LVET

Conclusion

Practice of yoga even for a short period showed ability to improve most of the cardiovascular functions. Regular practice of yoga for a longer period may further improve these functions and possibly result in improved management of their daily stress.

References

Parshad O, Richards A and Asnani M. Impact of yoga on haemodynamic function in healthy medical students. Source West Indian Medical Journal. 60(2):148-52. Mar 2011.

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