Could this routine help prevent heart disease?

Could this routine help prevent heart disease?

People often look to maximize the benefits of their diet and exercise regimens to make every minute they spend in the gym as beneficial as possible.

A new study says that combining two common exercises can drastically help do just that, at least when it comes to lowering heart disease risk factors.

The study, by the American College of Cardiology, says that heart disease patients who practice yoga in addition to aerobic exercise saw twice the reduction in blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels when compared to patients who practiced either one alone.

In total, researchers looked at 750 patients who had previously been diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Each was assigned yoga and/or aerobic exercise sessions. Those who did either exercise alone saw similar reductions to the various risk factors, but both were dwarfed by the combined group.

Dr. Thomas Discher, cardiologist at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., said he wasn’t too surprised by the study’s findings.

“It makes sense that a program treating the mind, body and soul through routine physical exercise and stress reduction such as yoga would benefit cardiovascular patients,” Dr. Discher said. “But the combined effect is great.”

Heart disease includes a wide variety of problems, according to the American Heart Association, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis, a condition that develops when plaque builds up on the walls of arteries. This can cause a blood clot, stopping the flow of blood and causing a heart attack or stroke.

Find out your risk for heart disease by taking our simple and easy Heart Risk Assessment.

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Nathan Lurz

Nathan Lurz, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. He has nearly a decade of professional news experience as a reporter and editor, and a lifetime of experience as an enthusiastic learner. On the side, he enjoys writing even more, tabletop games, reading, running and explaining that his dog is actually the cutest dog, not yours, sorry.

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