The Yoga heart: illustration of a human heartAccording to study, exercise routine can be made into an even better heart health booster with a little adjustment. So you will have more power and can better focus on your next round at

Exercise and physical fitness are good for your heart. If you exercise regularly, you’re doing something good for your health. But the effect can apparently be enhanced by ending your workout in a certain way.

Whether it’s an extensive running session or lifting weights – for many athletes, a round of stretching is an integral part of the end of a workout. But according to a recent study, it would be smarter to replace this kind of cool-down with another method. Researchers from Canada have found that 15 minutes of yoga at the end of a workout seems to be particularly good for the heart.


The background to the study was that scientists at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, wanted to find out how yoga affects heart health. In doing so, they deliberately compared the training method with a stretching session in order to possibly be able to make statements about whether it is the flexibility exercises, which are also included in yoga, that have positive effects or whether yoga also offers health benefits.


For their study, the research team led by Dr. Paul Priorier recruited 60 people with hypertension and metabolic syndrome. They conducted a three-month exercise program with them. To do this, the scientists divided the subjects into two groups. One group did 15 minutes of yoga at the end of their 30-minute aerobic workout five days a week. The other group ended the endurance workout with 15 minutes of stretching.

To assess the effect on heart health, the researchers recorded the participants’ body measurements and measured their blood pressure, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in their blood, which is produced more when the body is inflamed, and glucose and lipid levels. They also used the Framingham and Reynolds risk score methods to calculate their risk for heart attacks, heart disease and strokes.

Not only were the two groups of subjects equally matched in age and gender, but at baseline there were no differences in smoking rates, BMI, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate and pulse pressure.1


Yoga at the end of a workout is more effective than stretching.

After three months, both the yoga and stretching groups were found to have decreased resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial blood pressure, and heart rate. However, a difference was seen in the effect on systolic blood pressure.  This value shows the pressure with which blood is pressed into the body by the heart. Here, yoga had the edge over stretching.

While systolic blood pressure decreased by 4 mmmHg in the subjects who ended their workouts with stretching, it decreased by 10 mmmHg in the yogis. The 15-minute yoga routine also lowered resting heart rate and ten-year risk of cardiovascular disease, as determined by the Reynolds risk score.