If your blood pressure measure yields a reading of 120/80 or less, pat yourself on the back. Your blood pressure is under control.
This is becoming increasingly rare, however.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 25% of Americans have hypertension, and a further 33% of them have pre-hypertension.
Pre-hypertension is when blood pressure is 120-139/80-89, and hypertension is when blood pressure is consistently over 140/90. BP drugs seem to be the go-to choice for most doctors.
One of the biggest challenges for medical professionals is to catch people with moderately high blood pressure before they develop hypertension.
With this in mind, a research team from Delhi in India conducted a study on the effects of yoga on people with pre-hypertension, which they presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India at the end of 2016.
They recruited 60 participants in their 50s and divided them into two groups – one doing moderate aerobics, no smoking, and eating healthier food.
The other received the same lifestyle advice, only added yoga training in stretching, breathing, and meditation.
While the blood pressure of the group that followed the lifestyle changes remained the same, the yoga group experienced an average reduction of 4.9 mmHg, consistently, every day they practiced yoga.
If a 4.9 point overall drop looks insignificant, keep in mind that a mere two mmHg drop in diastolic pressure can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 6% and that of stroke by 15%.
This is enough to keep pre-hypertensive people from needing to start medication, and even those already in hypertension to be able to wean off.