International Journal of Yoga
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 49-54
Cardiovascular and metabolic effects of intensive Hatha Yoga training in middle-aged and older women from northern Mexico

1 Departments of Basic Sciences, Biomedical Sciences Institute, Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Av. Hermanos Escobar y Plutarco Elías Calles s/n, Cd. Juárez Chih, Mexico
2 School of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Chih, Mexico
3 Biochemistry, School of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Correspondence Address:
Arnulfo Ramos-Jimenez
Department of Basic Sciences, Biomedical Sciences Institute, Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Av. Hermanos Escobar y Plutarco Elías Calles s/n, Cd. Juárez Chih - 32310
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6131.60044

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Background: Hatha Yoga (HY) can be an alternative to improve physical activity in middle- aged and older women. However, conventional HY (CHY) exercising may not result in enough training stimulus to improve cardiovascular fitness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of an intensive HY intervention (IHY) on cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged and older women from Northern Mexico. Materials and Methods: In this prospective quasiexperimental design, four middle-aged and nine older CHY practicing females (yoginis) were enrolled into an 11-week IHY program consisting of 5 sessions/week for 90 min (55 sessions). The program adherence, asana performance, and work intensity were assessed along the intervention. Anthropometric [body mass index (BMI), % body fat and ∑ skin folds], cardiovascular fitness [maximal expired air volume (VE max ), maximal O 2 consumption (VO 2max ), maximal heart rate (HR max ), systolic (BPs) and diastolic blood pressure (BPd)], biochemical [glucose, triacylglycerols (TAG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)], and dietary parameters were evaluated before and after IHY. Results: Daily caloric intake (~1,916 kcal/day), program adherence (~85%), and exercising skills (asana performance) were similar in both middle-aged and older women. The IHY program did not modify any anthropometric measurements. However, it increased VO 2max and VE max and HDL-C while TAG and LDL-C remained stable in both middle-aged and older groups (P < 0.01). Conclusions: The proposed IHY program improves different cardiovascular risk factors (namely VO 2max and HDL-C) in middle-aged and older women.

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