The Mind-Body Practice For Improved Cardiovascular Health

A practice that reduces blood pressure and circulation problems in obese adults.

A practice that reduces blood pressure and circulation problems in obese adults.

Mat Pilates can lift cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and early vascular complications risk in obese people.

Constant high blood sugar, which is known as hyperglycemia, can lead to vascular complications.

The condition occurs when the arteries get blocked, making blood circulation difficult, hence diabetes is a major risk factor for peripheral vascular disease.

Scientists have shown that exercise in general is essential for managing or avoiding cardiovascular related health issues.

Obesity is growing fast in young adults and obese people, especially women, have the tendency to avoid regular exercises.

A new study shows that mat based Pilates is a powerful approach to reducing cardiovascular disease in young obese women.

Mat Pilates has attracted millions of people including celebrities in such a way that it has become a popular wellness practice among Americans.

The exercise aims to improve flexibility, body posture, controlled breathing patterns, and strengthen muscles.

In this study, a group of obese women aged 19 to 27 with hypertension followed a 12-week course of mat Pilates classes.

The training was 1 hour sessions, three times a week, each session consisted of initial warm up, a 40-minute mat Pilates workout, finishing with a 10-minute cool down.

Over the course, regular mat Pilates showed improvement in vascular function in participants by effectively lowering their blood pressure and arterial stiffness.

The study authors wrote:

“We hypothesized that Mat Pilates might decrease the risk of hypertension in young obese women.

Our findings provide evidence that Mat Pilates benefit cardiovascular health by decreasing blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and body fatness in young obese women with elevated blood pressure.

Because adherence to traditional exercise (both aerobic and resistance) is low in obese individuals, Mat Pilates Training might prove an effective exercise alternative for the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular events in young obese adults.”

The study was published in the American Journal of Hypertension (Wong et al., 2020).

A Relaxing Way To Reduce Blood Pressure

Brief exposure to these plant chemical compounds reduces blood pressure and heart rate.

Brief exposure to these plant chemical compounds reduces blood pressure and heart rate.

Essential oils can lower heart rate and blood pressure, but only if the exposure is less than 60 minutes, research finds.

Next time you go to a health spa for stress relief, make sure you aren’t exposed for longer than an hour to aromatic essential oils as the scents can have the reverse effect.

Essential oils are essences from plants and often used in aromatherapy to reduce anxiety, improve moods, treat headaches and improve skin conditions.

A study has found that short-term exposure to essential oils is an effective way to reduce blood pressure and heart rate as well as improve relaxation.

However, the downside is that being exposed for longer than an hour will reverse the beneficial effects and can do harm to heart health.

The study recruited one hundred young healthy non-smoking spa workers to monitor their resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure during each exposure.

Participants were exposed for two hours to bergamot essential oil that was released from an ultrasonic aroma diffuser.

Results showed that subjects’ heart rate and blood pressure was decreased between 15 and 60 minutes after exposure to the aroma.

The duration of exposure was significantly linked to these two cardiovascular risk factors.

Dr Kai-Jen Chuang, the study’s first author, said:

“Our results suggest that exposure to essential oil for 1 hour would be effective in reducing heart rate and blood pressure.

However, the most interesting finding of our study is that exposure to essential oil for over an hour was associated with elevated blood pressure and heart rate.”

For example, after 45 minutes exposure there was a reduction of 2.10 mmHg in average systolic blood pressure (SBP) and 2.21 beats per minute for heart rate.

Whereas at 60 minutes the SBP reduction had changed to only 0.89 mmHg and 0.82 beats per minute for heart rate.

As the time duration to aromatherapy exposure was increased the situation was reversed.

For example, after 120 minutes the average systolic blood pressure went up by 2.19 mmHg and the heart rate was increased by 1.70 beats per minute.

The authors, concluded:

“Prolonged exposure for longer than 1 hour to essential oils may be harmful to cardiovascular health in young, healthy subjects.”

The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (Chuang et al., 2012).