6 Heart-Health Benefits of Yoga, 5 of 6

A six-part series from everydayhealth.com by Ashley Welch and reviewed by Michael Cutler, DO, PhD.

Heart Health Benefit #5: Yoga May Improve Aerobic Capacity

Practicing yoga is associated with improved cardiovascular endurance and quality of life in African-American patients with heart failure, according to a small study published in April 2010 in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Researchers enrolled 40 patients with heart failure in an at-home exercise program, adding to their usual medical care. Some of the participants also received 16 yoga therapy sessions over the course of 8 to 10 weeks. At the end of the program, those who included yoga in their routines had a 22 percent improvement in aerobic capacity. Yoga also led to improved flexibility, decreased heart inflammation, and improved quality-of-life scores.

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