Recent studies conducted by diverse researchers have identified that asana-based yoga bring a very wide list of benefits for yogis on overall health, especially on reducing risk factors for major diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Asana is one of the eight limbs of classical Yoga, which states that poses should be steady and comfortable, firm yet relaxed helping a practitioner to become more aware of their body, mind, and environment.
From running and walking, to swimming, elliptical cross-training, biking, Stair-master, and rowing, the physical benefits of cardio exercise abound as they get your heart rate up and increase your blood circulation. Cardio exercise will improve your heart health, increase your metabolism, improve your hormone profile, improve your recovery ability, help manage your diabetes condition if you have one. Will help you control your weight, combat health conditions and diseases (in fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls), improve your mood, and improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance and energy among other benefits.
But the studies have revealed that, compared to non-exercisers, yoga showed lower BMIs, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, as well as weight loss and lower triglyceride levels (which may lead to heart disease).
Now the question continues to be: can Yoga be the New Cardio Workout? Well, there are benefits to traditional cardiovascular exercise that extends beyond heart health, but yoga seems like a good start. Asana is defined as “posture or pose”, literal meaning “seating” and this pose purifies and helps heal the body, as well as control, calm and focus the mind. These are important steps towards lowering blood pressure.
But Asana yoga has changed a lot in the past 60 years and as the practice continues to develop, more dynamic postures enter into play converting the handful of seated poses into a flowing dance from posture to posture and incorporate aerobically excessive where you will repeatedly move large muscles in your arms, legs and hips, widening your small blood vessels (capillaries) to deliver more oxygen to your muscles, benefits you also get through cardiovascular exercises.
So now the question is not to continue debating between yoga and audio exercises, but to pave the way to understanding that physical activity, physical fitness, and cardiovascular health will tend to develop less coronary heart disease (CHD). How hard we should work and why we need it in the first place will move the needle towards cardio or yoga. Because after all, your time on the mat has proved to be extra beneficial too.
Can Yoga Be the New Cardio Workout? How Beneficial Yoga Could Be to Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol? Benefits for Yoga Compared to Cardio Exercises.