Increase Resting Metabolic Rate in Obese Women with Yoga

Increase Resting Metabolic Rate in Obese Women with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

You get to thinking that yoga and its health benefits, such as stress reduction and improved fitness, are best for thin people, and not so much for the 36 percent of U.S. adults who are obese. Not true. Yoga is for all types of shapes and sizes.” – Laura McMullen

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to obese individuals. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. This suggests that mindfulness training may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies. Yoga may be particularly beneficial for the obese as it is both a mindfulness practice and an exercise. Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of physical and psychological benefits. These include significant loss of body weight and improvement in health in the obese.

 

In today’s Research News article “Comparing between the effect of energy-restricted diet and yoga on the resting metabolic rate, anthropometric indices, and serum adipokine levels in overweight and obese staff women.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7306236/) Yazdanparast and colleagues recruited healthy adulty overweight and obese women and randomly assigned them to receive 8 weeks of either a balanced restricted diet with a reduction in about 500 Kcal per day or to 5 days per week in class and home weekend practice of 1 hour Hatha yoga practice (estimated to expend 200 Kcal per day) in combination with a balanced restricted diet with a reduction in about 300 Kcal per day. They were measured before and after the 8-week practice period for resting metabolic rate, body size, blood lipids, blood glucose, leptin, and blood adiponectin.

 

They found that after the 8-week intervention both groups had significant reductions in body size and blood leptin levels but the yoga plus diet group also had significant increases in the resting metabolic rate and blood adiponectin levels while the diet alone group did not. On the other hand, the diet only group had a significant reduction in blood high density lipoprotein – cholesterol that did not occur in the yoga plus diet group.

 

These results are particularly interesting because the two groups were estimated to have the same deficit in caloric intake plus expenditure with the diet only group having a 500 Kcal per day reduction in intake while the yoga plus diet group had a 300 Kcal per day reduction in intake along with a 200 KCAL per day increase in expenditure. Hence the differences in the results for the two groups were not due to differences in total energy reduction.

 

This suggests that yoga practice has the extra benefit over diet alone of increasing the resting metabolic rate and blood adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is an anti-inflammatory protein that is secreted by fat cells but is decreased with obesity. The reduction in the yoga group suggests that the yoga practice may produce a reduction in inflammation in the women. Indeed, such a reduction in the inflammatory response produced by yoga practice has been documented previously. A reduction in inflammation is greatly beneficial to the overall health of the women.

 

The reduction in the resting metabolic rate represents the baseline caloric expenditure independent of activity. Hence, its reduction in the yoga group suggests that yoga practice increases energy expenditure all day long regardless of activity, increasing overall expenditure. This should, over time, produce an increased weight reduction. Indeed, the current study and  previous research has found the yoga practice reduces body size.

 

So, Increase Resting Metabolic Rate in Obese Women with Yoga.

 

“The benefits of practice are endless. As a light form of aerobic exercise, yoga can help to alleviate common symptoms of being affected by obesity.” – Laurel Dierking

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Yazdanparast, F., Jafarirad, S., Borazjani, F., Haghighizadeh, M. H., & Jahanshahi, A. (2020). Comparing between the effect of energy-restricted diet and yoga on the resting metabolic rate, anthropometric indices, and serum adipokine levels in overweight and obese staff women. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 25, 37. https://doi.org/10.4103/jrms.JRMS_787_19

 

Abstract

Background:

Weight management is an important strategy to prevent the consequences of obesity. The aim of the study was to compare the effect of yoga practice and energy-restricted diet on resting metabolic rate (RMR), anthropometric indices, and serum adiponectin and leptin in overweight and obese women.

Materials and Methods:

Obese or overweight women were divided into two groups: yoga practicing and energy-restricted diet. Exercise trials consisted of 60-min Hatha yoga equal to 200 kilocalories (kcal) combined with 300 kcal restriction per day, and an energy-restricted diet consisted of 500 kcal restriction per day. The intervention period for both the groups was 8 weeks. RMR, anthropometric indices, and serum adiponectin, leptin, and lipid profiles were measured at baseline and at the end of the study.

Results:

RMR was increased in yoga but not in the diet group (P = 0.001). The level of adiponectin was increased in the yoga group compared with the diet (P = 0.035). The concentration of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol was decreased in the diet group significantly but not in yoga (P = 0.006). The level of leptin was decreased in both the groups (P = 0.001), and there were no significant differences between the two groups.

Conclusion:

The findings of the study demonstrated the effect of yoga practicing on RMR, and serum adiponectin, in overweight and obese women. It seems yoga practice with less energy restriction compared with a common energy restriction diet and is more effective in weight management for those who are in weight loss programs.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7306236/

 

Improve Health, Well-Being, and Quality of Life with Breast Cancer with an Integrative Program Including Diet, Exercise, and Mindfulness

Improve Health, Well-Being, and Quality of Life with Breast Cancer with an Integrative Program Including Diet, Exercise, and Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Our cancer experiences take up a lot of energies, mental focus and can drain us emotionally. It is important to have a few tools to help us create ‘down’ and ‘out’ times, and to replenish and reconnect with who we are.  Mindfulness can also help during specific times of our cancer treatment – to prepare for surgery, while undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and before or during scans to help with scanxiety. “ – Karen Sieger

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Anxiety, depression, fatigue and insomnia are common symptoms in the aftermath of surviving breast cancer. These symptoms markedly reduce the quality of life of the patients.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to relieve chronic pain. It can also help treat the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbancefear, and anxiety and depression. Diet and exercise have also been shown to be effective for breast cancer patients who tend to become overweight or obese. The majority of research, however, explores mindfulness, diet, and exercise separately as treatments for breast cancer patients. It will be important to establish if the combination of these treatments may be especially effective.

 

In today’s Research News article “Influence of a Multidisciplinary Program of Diet, Exercise, and Mindfulness on the Quality of Life of Stage IIA-IIB Breast Cancer Survivors.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7265566/), Ruiz-Vozmediano and colleagues recruited breast cancer patients who had completed treatment at least 12 months earlier. They were randomly assigned to a no-treatment control group or to receive a 6-month program of diet, exercise, and mindfulness. The diet intervention consisted of a 5-hour workshop on healthy eating that was repeated after 2 months. Exercise consisted of 7-weeks of 3 times per week for an hour stretching and weekly 50-minutes of dancing. Mindfulness training consisted of a 4-week, twice a week for 90 minutes Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program including discussion, meditation, yoga, and body scan. They were measured before and 6 months after the intervention for body size, food intake, and cancer quality of life. They also provided a blood sample that was assayed for glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels, and tumor markers.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the control group the participants who received the diet, exercise, and mindfulness intervention had significantly higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet, and greater quality of life including physical, role, and social functioning quality of life. They also had significant reductions in body weight, body mass index (BMI), blood triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein.

 

The results suggest that an integrated treatment of diet, exercise, and mindfulness training produces positive changes in breast cancer survivors including improvements in their quality of life, diet, body size, and blood lipid levels. Future research should perform a component analysis to determine the effects of each treatment component and their combinations on the patients. Regardless, the effects observed in the present study tend to predict maintained psychological and physical health in these patients.

 

So, improve health, well-being, and quality of life with breast cancer with an integrative program including diet, exercise, and mindfulness.

 

“mindfulness-based stress reduction can be effective in alleviating anxiety and depression, decreasing long-term emotional and physical side effects of treatments and improving the quality of sleep in breast cancer patients.” – BCRF

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ruiz-Vozmediano, J., Löhnchen, S., Jurado, L., Recio, R., Rodríguez-Carrillo, A., López, M., Mustieles, V., Expósito, M., Arroyo-Morales, M., & Fernández, M. F. (2020). Influence of a Multidisciplinary Program of Diet, Exercise, and Mindfulness on the Quality of Life of Stage IIA-IIB Breast Cancer Survivors. Integrative cancer therapies, 19, 1534735420924757. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534735420924757

 

Abstract

Background: Integrative oncology has proven to be a useful approach to control cancer symptoms and improve the quality of life (QoL) and overall health of patients, delivering integrated patient care at both physical and emotional levels. The objective of this randomized trial was to evaluate the effects of a triple intervention program on the QoL and lifestyle of women with breast cancer. Methods: Seventy-five survivors of stage IIA-IIB breast cancer were randomized into 2 groups. The intervention group (IG) received a 6-month dietary, exercise, and mindfulness program that was not offered to the control group (CG). Data were gathered at baseline and at 6 months postintervention on QoL and adherence to Mediterranean diet using clinical markers and validated questionnaires. Between-group differences at baseline and 3 months postintervention were analyzed using Student’s t test for related samples and the Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney U tests. Results: At 6 months postintervention, the IG showed significant improvements versus CG in physical functioning (p = .027), role functioning (p = .028), and Mediterranean diet adherence (p = .02) and a significant reduction in body mass index (p = .04) and weight (p = .05), with a mean weight loss of 0.7 kg versus a gain of 0.55 kg by the CG (p = .05). Dyspnea symptoms were also increased in the CG versus IG (p = .066). Conclusions: These results demonstrate that an integrative dietary, physical activity, and mindfulness program enhances the QoL and healthy lifestyle of stage IIA-IIB breast cancer survivors. Cancer symptoms may be better managed by the implementation of multimodal rather than isolated interventions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7265566/

 

Improve Cardiovascular and Metabolic Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes with Yoga

Improve Cardiovascular and Metabolic Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Yoga practices such as cleansing processes, asanas, pranayama, mudras, bandha, meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation are known to reduce blood glucose levels and to help in the management of comorbid disease conditions associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus, resulting in significant positive clinical outcomes.” – Arkiath Veettil Raveendran

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States and nearly 600 million people worldwide have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type II Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, and circulatory problems leading to amputations. As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Unlike Type I Diabetes, Type II does not require insulin injections. Instead, the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes focuses on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. A mindfulness practice that combines mindfulness with exercise is yoga and it has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes.

 

In today’s Research News article “Yoga-based lifestyle treatment and composite treatment goals in Type 2 Diabetes in a rural South Indian setup- a retrospective study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7156497/), Arumugam and colleagues recruited adults with Type 2 Diabetes in rural India and randomly assigned them to either standard care or to 6 months of 1 hour daily supervised yoga practice “comprised of loosening practices, asanas, pranayama, relaxation techniques, and meditation.” They were measured before and after treatment for blood levels of A1c, LDL and HDL-cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, weight, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and body mass index (BMI).

 

They found that for the most part the control group had deterioration of most measures of their cardiovascular and metabolic health while the yoga group had significant improvements in all measures, including blood fats and glucose, blood pressure, and body weight, except total triglycerides. Hence, the patients with Type 2 Diabetes markedly reduced their risk factors for cardiovascular disease while the control group increased their risk.

 

These are very encouraging results that yoga practice can improve the health of patients with Type 2 Diabetes in rural India and lower their risk of developing serious cardiovascular disease. It would be important in future research to include another condition of perhaps aerobic exercise to evaluate if yoga practice confers extra benefits beyond its exercise effects. Regardless, the results suggest that yoga practice improves the physical well-being of patients with Type 2 Diabetes in rural settings.

 

So, improve cardiovascular and metabolic symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes with yoga.

 

Yoga is considered to be a promising, cost-effective option in the treatment and prevention of diabetes, with data from several studies suggesting that yoga and other mind-body therapies can reduce stress-related hyperglycemia and have a positive effect on blood glucose control.” – Diabetes UK

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Arumugam, G., Nagarathna, R., Majumdar, V., Singh, M., Srinivasalu, R., Sanjival, R., Ram, V. S., & Nagendra, H. R. (2020). Yoga-based lifestyle treatment and composite treatment goals in Type 2 Diabetes in a rural South Indian setup- a retrospective study. Scientific reports, 10(1), 6402. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63133-1

 

Abstract

This multicentre retrospective study examined the effects of adjunct yoga-treatment in achieving composite cardiovascular goals for type 2 diabetes (T2D), set forth by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in rural Indian settings. Records were extracted for 146 T2D patients, aged ≥20–70 years, and treated under the “Apollo Total Health Programme” for rural diabetes management, for the period April 2016 to November 2016. The study cohort comprised of two treatment groups (n = 73 each); non-yoga group (standard of care) and yoga group (adjunct yoga-treatment). Propensity score matching was applied between the study groups to define the cohort. Composite cardiovascular scores were based on the combination of individual ADA goals; A1c < 7%, blood pressure (BP) < 140/90 mmHg, stringent BP (<130/80 mmHg) and lipid, LDL-C < 100 mg/dl [risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease]. Logistic regression was used to compare between the two treatment groups. Compared to standard of care, adjunct yoga-treatment was found to significantly facilitate the attainment of ADA composite score by 8-fold; A1c, ~2-fold; LDL-C, ~2-fold; BP < 140/90 mmHg and <130/80 mmHg by ~8-and ~6-fold respectively. This study provides the first evidence for significant efficacy of adjunct yoga-treatment for the attainment of favourable treatment goals for T2D in rural Indian settings.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7156497/

 

Reduce Body Weight and Improve Health in the Obese with Mindfulness

Reduce Body Weight and Improve Health in the Obese with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness practice helps individuals develop skills for self-regulation by improving awareness of emotional and sensory cues, which are also important in altering one’s relationship with food.” – Sunil Daniel

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to obese individuals. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)  involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy That is designed to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. This suggests that MBCT may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of mindfulness based cognitive therapy on weight loss, improvement of hypertension and attentional bias to eating cues in overweight people.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031128/), Alamout and colleagues recruited women who were adult (aged 30-50) and overweight (BMI of 25-30) and randomly assigned them to receive either no treatment or a diet providing 800 Kcal less than their normal intake, or the diet plus once a week for 2 hours for 8 weeks Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) along with daily home practice. They were measured before and after treatment and 4 weeks later for body size and blood pressure. Attention bias was measured by asking participants to respond as quickly as they can to words and pictures that were food related or neutral.

 

They found that after the intervention there was a significant reduction in body weight and body mass index in the diet groups in comparison to the no treatment control. But, the groups that received diet plus Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) had significantly greater reductions that were maintained 4 weeks after treatment. Attentional bias toward food cues and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly reduced in the diet plus MBCT group only and these reductions were maintained 4 weeks after treatment.

 

These findings are interesting and potentially significant. Weight loss is difficult to attain and even more difficult to maintain after the cessation of treatment. The findings suggest that the addition of mindfulness training to diet therapy greatly enhances the benefits. It has been previously demonstrated that mindfulness training reduces blood pressure. The reductions in blood pressure observed in the present study suggest that the mindfulness training reduces the responses to stress. It has been shown that stress can promote food intake. So, the reduction in stress responding may make it easier to maintain the diet.

 

The combination of diet and mindfulness training appears to alter how overweight women respond to food related cues. This may, in part, be responsible for the increased effectiveness of diet plus mindfulness training. It may make it easier for the women to refrain from responding to food cues and thereby be better able to stay on the diet. In other words, it makes them less responsive to temptation.

 

So, reduce body weight and improve health in the obese with mindfulness.

 

Adults with overweight or obesity who participated in mindfulness-based intervention experienced at least 3% weight loss that persisted through follow-up, with a reduction in disordered eating behaviors.” – Kimberly Carriere

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Alamout, M. M., Rahmanian, M., Aghamohammadi, V., Mohammadi, E., & Nasiri, K. (2019). Effectiveness of mindfulness based cognitive therapy on weight loss, improvement of hypertension and attentional bias to eating cues in overweight people. International journal of nursing sciences, 7(1), 35–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2019.12.010

 

Abstract

Objectives

Prevalence rates of overweight and obesity are dramatically ever-increasing across the world. Therefore, this study was to evaluate the effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on weight loss, hypertension, and attentional bias towards food cues in a group of women affected with this condition.

Methods

A total of 45 participants were selected out of women referring to the Nutrition and Diet Therapy Clinic affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran, and then randomized into three groups of 15. The first experimental group was subjected to an energy-restricted diet therapy together with MBCT during 8 sessions, the second group took the diet therapy alone, and the third group received no intervention. Body mass index (BMI), hypertension, and attentional bias towards food cues were correspondingly evaluated before, at the end, and four weeks after the completion of the interventions.

Results

The results of this study revealed that MBCT, along with diet therapy, had been significantly more effective in weight loss, decrease in BMI, lower systolic blood pressure (SBP), and attentional bias towards food cues compared with the diet therapy alone (P ≤ 0.01). MBCT had no significant impact on the decline in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in participants in the follow-up phase.

Conclusion

This study demonstrated that MBCT along with the conventional diet therapy was more effective in weight loss, decrease in BMI, hypertension control, as well as attentional bias towards food cues than the diet therapy alone.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031128/

 

Improve Cardiopulmonary Health Over the Long Haul in Obese Elderly with Tai Chi

Improve Cardiopulmonary Health Over the Long Haul in Obese Elderly with Tai Chi

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Research has found that seniors who regularly practice tai chi are steadier on their feet, less likely to suffer high blood pressure, and physically stronger.  Tai chi has been known to improve hand/eye coordination, increase circulation, and can even promote a better night’s sleep.” – Chris Corregall

 

Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases and diabetes. Overweight and abdominal obesity are associated with high blood pressure, insulin resistance and elevation of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. It is highly associated with pulmonary problems and type-2 diabetes. Obesity incidence has been rising rapidly and it currently affects over a third of U.S. adults. The simplest treatment is simply exercise and weight loss. Also, mindfulness techniques have been shown to be effective in treating Metabolic Syndrome.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat the health consequences of obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Tai Chi practice is both an exercise and a mindfulness practice. It has been found to be effective for an array of physical and psychological issues. It appears to strengthen the immune systemreduce inflammation, and improve cardiovascular function. Tai Chi training has also been shown to improve lung function. These findings are encouraging. But little is known about the ability of Tai Chi practice to improve cardiopulmonary function over the long-term.

 

In today’s Research News article “Tai Chi can prevent cardiovascular disease and improve cardiopulmonary function of adults with obesity aged 50 years and older: A long-term follow-up study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824704/), Sun and colleagues recruited healthy obese adults over 50 years of age (average 66 years) and provided them with a health education training. In addition, half the participants received training in Tai Chi 3 times per week for 30-40 minutes. They were measured before and after training and then every 3 to 6 months over 6 years for blood pressure, body size, cardiac function, and lung function.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the health education only group, the Tai Chi group had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, waist and hip circumference, weight, and body mass index, and significant improvements in cardiac and lung function that were maintained for 6 years. In addition, the Tai Chi  group had lower incidences of health complications, lower mortality, and lower rates of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

 

These results are exciting and remarkable. It is exceedingly rare to have such long-term follow-up of the effectiveness of an intervention. The results demonstrate that Tai Chi practice can be safely maintained over very long periods of time and produce sustained benefits for the health of the elderly. It’s important to note that Tai Chi is gentle and safe, appropriate for all ages, and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. It is inexpensive to administer, can be performed in groups or alone, at home or in a facility, and can be quickly learned. In addition, it can be practiced in social groups. This can make it fun, improving the likelihood of long-term engagement in the practice.

 

So, improve cardiopulmonary health over the long haul in obese elderly with Tai Chi.

 

Practising the ancient martial art of Tai Chi is so beneficial to elderly people’s health that it should be “the preferred mode of training”” – The Telegraph

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Sun, L., Zhuang, L. P., Li, X. Z., Zheng, J., & Wu, W. F. (2019). Tai Chi can prevent cardiovascular disease and improve cardiopulmonary function of adults with obesity aged 50 years and older: A long-term follow-up study. Medicine, 98(42), e17509. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000017509

 

Abstract

To research the possible role of Tai Chi in preventing cardiovascular disease and improving cardiopulmonary function in adults with obesity aged 50 years and older.

Between 2007 and 2012, 120 adults with obesity, aged 50 years and older, were divided into a Tai Chi group and a control group, with 60 participants in each group. The 2 groups were evaluated for weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, blood pressure (BP), body mass index, and incidence of chronic disease during follow-up monitoring.

Two- and 6-year follow-up showed that the average BP in the Tai Chi group along with either the systolic or diastolic pressure decreased significantly compared to those in the control group (P < .001). Waist and hip circumference, weight, and body mass index in the Tai Chi group were significantly reduced compared to those in the control group (P < .001). The cardiopulmonary function of the control group and the Tai Chi group changed, with the cardiac index significantly higher in the Tai Chi group than in the control group (P < .05). The Tai Chi group had significantly higher levels of lung function, including vital capacity, maximal oxygen uptake, and total expiratory time, than the control group. The total incidence of complications and mortality in the Tai Chi group were much lower than those in the control group (P < .001). The incidence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease in the Tai Chi group (16.67%) was lower than that in the control group (38.33%).

Tai Chi is not only a suitable exercise for elderly people with obesity, but it can also help to regulate BP, improve heart and lung function in these individuals, as well as reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases, helping to improve their quality of life.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824704/

 

Improve Eating Behavior in Obese Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

Improve Eating Behavior in Obese Cancer Survivors with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindful eating helps you distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. It also increases your awareness of food-related triggers and gives you the freedom to choose your response to them.” – Adda Bjarnadottir

 

Eating is produced by two categories of signals. Homeostatic signals emerge from the body’s need for nutrients, is associated with feelings of hunger, and usually work to balance intake with expenditure. Non-homeostatic eating, on the other hand, is not tied to nutrient needs or hunger but rather to the environment, to emotional states, and or to the pleasurable and rewarding qualities of food. These cues can be powerful signals to eat even when there is no physical need for food. External eating is non-homeostatic eating in response to the environmental stimuli that surround us, including the sight and smell of food or the sight of food related cause such as the time of day or a fast food restaurant ad or sign.

 

Mindful eating involves paying attention to eating while it is occurring, including attention to the sight, smell, flavors, and textures of food, to the process of chewing and may help reduce intake. Indeed, high levels of mindfulness are associated with lower levels of obesity and mindfulness training has been shown to reduce binge eating, emotional eating, and external eating.

 

A mindfulness training technique that was developed to treat addictions called Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) involves 10 weekly sessions of 2 hours and includes mindful breathing and body scan meditations, cognitive reappraisal to decrease negative emotions and craving, and savoring to augment natural reward processing and positive emotion. Participants are also encouraged to practice at home for 15 minutes per day. It is not known if MORE is effective in changing eating behavior in obese women cancer survivors.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Restructures Reward Processing and Promotes Interoceptive Awareness in Overweight Cancer Survivors: Mechanistic Results From a Stage 1 Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6552347/), Thomas and colleagues recruited obese (BMI >30) women who had a cancer diagnosis either current or in remission. They were randomly assigned to receive a 10-week, 1.5-hour session, once per week, of either a standard exercise and nutrition program or the Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) program. The participants were measured before and after the program for body composition, eating behaviors, interoceptive awareness, savoring the moment, and attention bias toward food. In addition, they were measured for muscular electrical responses to food and non-food pictures to assess responsiveness to cues.

They found that in comparison to baseline and the exercise and nutrition program Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) produced significantly greater increases in smiling to natural reward cues, and interoceptive awareness including increases in noticing body sensations, attention regulation, self-regulation, and body listening, and significant decreases in attentional responsiveness to food cues and external eating. Using a path analysis, they found that MORE had its effects on attentional responsiveness to food cues directly and also indirectly by its positive effects on attention bias toward natural reward cues that, in turn, negatively affected their responsiveness to food cues. Finally, these decreases in attentional responsiveness to food cues were related to decreases in the participants’ waist to hip ratio.

 

These results are interesting and suggest that Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) may reduce inappropriate responsiveness to food in obese women with cancer by increasing their awareness of their internal state (interoceptive awareness) and their responsiveness to natural reward cues. Hence, the training makes the women more sensitive to their actual internal state which makes them more responsive to real hunger and satiety and less responsive to non-homeostatic eating signals. In addition, it appears to allow them to receive more reward from non-food related natural stimuli and thereby reduce their need to receive reward through eating. Thus, MORE appears to improve obese women’s ability to better regulate their eating behavior.

 

So, improve eating behavior in obese cancer survivors with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness practice helps individuals develop skills for self-regulation by improving awareness of emotional and sensory cues, which are also important in altering one’s relationship with food.” –  Sunil Daniel

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Thomas, E. A., Mijangos, J. L., Hansen, P. A., White, S., Walker, D., Reimers, C., … Garland, E. L. (2019). Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement Restructures Reward Processing and Promotes Interoceptive Awareness in Overweight Cancer Survivors: Mechanistic Results From a Stage 1 Randomized Controlled Trial. Integrative cancer therapies, 18, 1534735419855138. doi:10.1177/1534735419855138

 

Abstract

Introduction: The primary aims of this Stage I pilot randomized controlled trial were to establish the feasibility of integrating exercise and nutrition counseling with Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE), a novel intervention that unites training in mindfulness, reappraisal, and savoring skills to target mechanisms underpinning appetitive dysregulation a pathogenic process that contributes to obesity among cancer survivors; to identify potential therapeutic mechanisms of the MORE intervention; and to obtain effect sizes to power a subsequent Stage II trial. Methods: Female overweight and obese cancer survivors (N = 51; mean age = 57.92 ± 10.04; 88% breast cancer history; 96% white) were randomized to one of two 10-week study treatment conditions: (a) exercise and nutrition counseling or (b) exercise and nutrition counseling plus the MORE intervention. Trial feasibility was assessed via recruitment and retention metrics. Measures of therapeutic mechanisms included self-reported interoceptive awareness, maladaptive eating behaviors, and savoring, as well as natural reward responsiveness and food attentional bias, which were evaluated as psychophysiological mechanisms. Results: Feasibility was demonstrated by 82% of participants who initiated MORE receiving a full dose of the intervention. Linear mixed models revealed that the addition of MORE led to significantly greater increases in indices of interoceptive awareness, savoring, and natural reward responsiveness, and, significantly greater decreases in external eating behaviors and food attentional bias—the latter of which was significantly associated with decreases in waist-to-hip ratio. Path analysis demonstrated that the effect of MORE on reducing food attentional bias was mediated by increased zygomatic electromyographic activation during attention to natural rewards. Conclusions and Implications: MORE may target appetitive dysregulatory mechanisms implicated in obesity by promoting interoceptive awareness and restructuring reward responsiveness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6552347/

 

Improve “Diabetic Lung” with Yoga Therapy

Improve “Diabetic Lung” with Yoga Therapy

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Yoga can do more than just relax your body in mind — especially if you’re living with diabetes. Certain poses may help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels while also improving circulation.” – Daniel Bubnis

 

Diabetes is a major health issue. It is estimated that 30 million people in the United States and nearly 600 million people worldwide have diabetes and the numbers are growing. Type II Diabetes results from a resistance of tissues, especially fat tissues, to the ability of insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood. As a result, blood sugar levels rise producing hyperglycemia. Diabetes is heavily associated with other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, circulatory problems leading to amputations and pulmonary issues known as “Diabetic Lung.” As a result, diabetes doubles the risk of death of any cause compared to individuals of the same age without diabetes.

 

Type 2 diabetes is a common and increasingly prevalent illness that is largely preventable. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of Type 2 Diabetes is its association with overweight and obesity which is becoming epidemic in the industrialized world. A leading cause of this is a sedentary life style. Unlike Type I Diabetes, Type II does not require insulin injections. Instead, the treatment and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes focuses on diet, exercise, and weight control. Recently, mindfulness practices have been shown to be helpful in managing diabetes. A mindfulness practice that combines mindfulness with exercise is yoga and it has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of Type II Diabetes. The extent to which yoga practice might also help with “Diabetic Lung” has not been well studied.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of Adjuvant Yoga Therapy in Diabetic Lung: A Randomized Control Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6521747/), Balaji and colleagues recruited diabetic patients whose lung function was less than 70% of normal. They were randomly assigned to receive either medical care as usual or to receive usual medical care and additional yoga therapy 3 times per week for 4 months. The yoga therapy included poses, relaxation, breathing exercises, and special postures designed to improve lung function. The participants were measured before and after the 4-month intervention for body size, and pulmonary function.

 

They found that compared to baseline and medical care as usual, after yoga practice there was a significant reduction in body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) and a significant improvement in lung function including improvements in forced expiratory volume, forced vital capacity, and their ratio. Hence yoga therapy appears to be a safe and effective therapy for patients with “Diabetic Lung.”

 

In the present study the control condition did not include an exercise condition. So, it cannot be determined whether the exercise associated with the yoga practice or the other components of the practice were responsible for the improvements. But it is clear from this randomized controlled trial that yoga practice designed to improve lung function is a safe and effective treatment for diabetic patients with “Diabetic Lung.”

 

So, improve “Diabetic Lung” with yoga therapy.

 

Although regular exercise can help, yoga for diabetes provides unique benefits that can effectively restore the body to a state of natural health and proper function.” – Yoga U

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Balaji, R., Ramanathan, M., Bhavanani, A. B., Ranganadin, P., & Balachandran, K. (2019). Effectiveness of Adjuvant Yoga Therapy in Diabetic Lung: A Randomized Control Trial. International Journal of Yoga, 12(2), 96–102. doi:10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_20_18

 

Abstract

Context:

Recent studies provide ample evidence of the benefits of yoga in various chronic disorders. Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by chronic hyperglycemia and Sandler coined the term “Diabetic Lung” for the abnormal pulmonary function detected in diabetic patients due underlying pulmonary dysfunction. Yoga therapy may help in achieving better pulmonary function along with enhanced glycaemic control and overall health benefits.

Aim:

To study the effect of adjuvant yoga therapy in diabetic lung through spirometry.

Settings and Design:

Randomized control trial was made as interdisciplinary collaborative work between departments of Yoga Therapy, Pulmonary Medicine and Endocrinology, of MGMC & RI, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth Puducherry.

Materials and Methods:

72 patients of diabetic lung as confirmed by spirometry (<70% of expected) were randomized into control group (n=36) who received only standard medical treatment and yoga group (n=36) who received yoga training thrice weekly for 4 months along with standard medical management. Yoga therapy protocol included yogic counseling, preparatory practices, Asanas or static postures, Pranayama or breathing techniques and relaxation techniques. Hathenas of the Gitananda Yoga tradition were the main practices used. Spirometry was done at the end of the study period. Data was analyzed by Student’s paired and unpaired ‘t’ test as it passed normality.

Results:

There was a statistically significant (P < 0.05) reduction in weight, and BMI along with a significant (P < 0.01) improvement in pulmonary function (FEV1, FVC) in yoga group as compared to control group where parameters worsened over study period.

Conclusion:

It is concluded from the present RCT that yoga has a definite role as an adjuvant therapy as it enhances standard medical care and hence is even more significant in routine clinical management of diabetes, improving physical condition and pulmonary function.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6521747/

 

Lower Body Weight and Improve Heart Health with Yoga

Lower Body Weight and Improve Heart Health with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“A large number of studies show that yoga benefits many aspects of cardiovascular health. There’s been a major shift in the last five years or so in the number of cardiologists and other professionals recognizing that these benefits are real.” – Hugh Calkins

 

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack.” (Centers for Disease Control). A myriad of treatments has been developed for heart disease including a variety of surgical procedures and medications. In addition, lifestyle changes have proved to be effective including quitting smoking, weight reduction, improved diet, physical activity, and reducing stresses. Cardiac rehabilitation programs for patients recovering from a heart failure, emphasize these lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, 60% of heart failure patients decline participation, making these patients at high risk for another attack.

 

Safe and effective alternative treatments for cardiovascular disease are contemplative practices, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga, have also been shown to be helpful for heart health. These practices have also been shown to be helpful for producing the kinds of lifestyle changes needed to prevent heart disease such as smoking cessationweight reduction, and stress reduction. Indeed, yoga practice is both a mindfulness training technique and a physical exercise. As such, it would seem particularly interesting to explore as a treatment to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Comparison of Blood Viscosity and Hematocrit Levels between Yoga Practitioners and Sedentary Adults. International journal of exercise science.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6413846/), Shadiow and colleagues recruited adults who had practiced Hatha Yoga for at least 3 years and sedentary individuals who had not exercised in at least the last 6 months. After a 12 hour fast and 24 hours without exercise the participants were measured for body size, blood pressure, and blood was drawn for assays of blood viscosity and hematocrit.

 

They found, not surprisingly, that the yoga practitioners had significantly lower body weights and Body Mass Indices (BMIs). Importantly, the yoga practitioners had significantly lower blood viscosity values than the sedentary individuals. Low blood viscosity is associated with cardiac health. So, the results suggest that consistent long-term yoga practice in healthy individuals reduces body size and improves indicators of heart health. These conclusions need to be tempered with the understanding that this was a cross-sectional study that is open to alternative explanations. But, the results support conducting a randomized controlled clinical trial to definitively ascertain the effects of yoga practice on weight and heart health.

 

So, lower body weight and improve heart health with yoga.

 

“people who took yoga classes saw improvements in a number of factors that affect heart disease risk. They lost an average of five pounds, shaved five points off their blood pressure, and lowered their levels of harmful LDL cholesterol by 12 points.” – Julie Corliss

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Shadiow, J., Tarumi, T., Dhindsa, M., & Hunter, S. D. (2019). A Comparison of Blood Viscosity and Hematocrit Levels between Yoga Practitioners and Sedentary Adults. International journal of exercise science, 12(2), 425–432.

 

Abstract

Elevations in whole blood viscosity (WBV) and hematocrit (Hct), have been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Endurance training has been demonstrated to lower WBV and Hct; however, evidence supporting the efficacy of yoga on these measures is sparse. A cross-sectional study was conducted examining WBV and Hct levels between yoga practitioners with a minimum of 3 years of consistent practice and sedentary, healthy adults. Blood samples were collected from a total of 42 participants: 23 sedentary adults and 19 regular yoga practitioners. Brachial arterial blood pressure (BP) was measured and the averages of 3 measures were reported. The yoga practitioner group had significantly lower WBV at 45 s−1 (p < 0.01), 90 s−1 (p < 0.01), 220 s−1 (p < 0.05), and 450 s−1 (p < 0.05) than sedentary participants. No significant group differences in Hct (p =0.38) were found. A tendency toward lower systolic BP (p=0.06) was observed in the yoga practitioner group; however, no significant group differences in BP were exhibited. A consistent yoga practice was associated with lower WBV, a health indicator related to CVD risk. These findings support a regular yoga practice as a valid form of exercise for improving rheological indicators of cardiovascular health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6413846/

 

Improve Health with Qigong

Improve Health with Qigong

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

The health benefits from Qigong and Tai Chi comes about both by supporting the body’s natural tendency to return to balance and equilibrium and also gently yet profoundly creating strength, flexibility and balance in the muscles and joints through gentle flowing movements.” – Denise Nagel

 

Qigong and Tai Chi have been practiced for thousands of years with benefits for health and longevity. Qigong and Tai Chi training are designed to enhance function and regulate the activities of the body through regulated breathing, mindful concentration, and gentle movements. Only recently though have the effects of Qigong practice been scrutinized with empirical research. It has been found to be effective for an array of physical and psychological issues. It appears to strengthen the immune systemreduce inflammationincrease the number of cancer killing cells in the bloodstream and improve cardiovascular function.

 

Because Qigong is not strenuous, involving slow gentle movements, and is safe, having no appreciable side effects, it is appropriate for all ages including the elderly and for individuals with illnesses that limit their activities or range of motion. So, with indications of so many benefits it makes sense to step back and review the research on the effects of Qigong training on health and well-being.

 

In today’s Research News article “Beneficial Effects of Qigong Wuqinxi in the Improvement of Health Condition, Prevention, and Treatment of Chronic Diseases: Evidence from a Systematic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220394/ ), Guo and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the effects of Qigong practice on physical and psychological health. They found 28 published research studies.

 

They report that the research finds that Qigong practice by healthy adults produces improvements in cognitive functions including concentration and attention, strengthens the immune system, improves body shape and size, physical function, and the cardiovascular system, improves mood and psychological well-being, improves lipid metabolism, slows physiological indicators of aging, and reduces inflammation. For clinical populations, they report that the research indicates that Qigong practice reduces depression, and improves osteoarthritis, including knee osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome, and blood fat levels.

 

Conclusions from these very exciting findings must be tempered as the research methodologies were often weak. More tightly controlled studies are needed. Regardless, these findings suggest that Qigong practice produces improved physical and psychological health in both healthy adults and people with mental and physical diseases. These are a remarkable set of benefits from this simple practice and suggest the reason why it has continued to be practiced by large numbers of people for hundreds of years. Hence, this simple, inexpensive, convenient, safe, and fun practice may improve the participants ability to successfully conduct their lives, improving health and well-being.

 

So, improve health with Qigong.

 

“A compelling body of research emerges when Tai Chi studies and the growing body of Qigong studies are combined. The evidence suggests that a wide range of health benefits accrue in response to these meditative movement forms.” – Dr. Mercola

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Guo, Y., Xu, M., Wei, Z., Hu, Q., Chen, Y., Yan, J., & Wei, Y. (2018). Beneficial Effects of Qigong Wuqinxi in the Improvement of Health Condition, Prevention, and Treatment of Chronic Diseases: Evidence from a Systematic Review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2018, 3235950. doi:10.1155/2018/3235950

 

Abstract

Purpose

Qigong is a modality of traditional Chinese mind-body medicine that has been used to prevent and cure ailments, to improve health in China for thousands of years. Wuqinxi, a Chinese traditional Qigong that focuses on mind-body integration, is thought to be an effective exercise in promoting physical and mental wellbeing. Thus, we summarized the evidence and aim to unravel effects of Wuqinxi on health outcomes.

Methods

We performed a systematic review of Wuqinxi studies published in English or Chinese since 1979. Relevant English and Chinese language electronic data bases were used for literature search. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validation were performed independently by two reviewers.

Results

A total of 28 eligible studies were included in this review, among which three are 3 in English and 25 in Chinese. The studies included in this review involve three different experimental designs: (1) 16 RCTs; (2) 2 historical cohort studies; and (3) 10 pretest and posttest studies (PPS). Participants in this review are categorized as either healthy or clinical populations. The results from this systematic review support the notion that Wuqinxi may be effective as an adjunctive rehabilitation method for improving psychological and physiological wellbeing among different age of healthy populations in addition to alleviating and treating diseases among various clinical populations.

Conclusion

The results indicated that Wuqinxi has been thought to be beneficial to improve health and treat chronic diseases. However, the methodological problems in the majority of included studies make it difficult to draw firm conclusive statements. More methodologically rigorous designed large-scale RCTs with a long-term follow-up assessment should be further conducted to examine the effects of Wuqixi on health-related parameters and disease-specific measures in different health conditions. This systematic review lends insight for future studies on Wuqinxi and its potential application in preventive and rehabilitation medicine.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220394/

 

Restrain Body Fatness Growth During Adolescence with Yoga

Restrain Body Fatness Growth During Adolescence with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Practicing yoga changes your mind: It changes the way you approach life, your body, and eating. Yoga shows you how to appreciate your body for all of the amazing things that it can do for you and points you in the direction of wanting to fill your body with the best possible fuel rather than processed junk food. And changing your mind about your body and the foods you feed it will be a much more effective weight-loss tool than burning a bunch of calories in an aggressive kick-boxing class and then mindlessly plowing through equal or more calories later that day.” – Heidi Kristoffer

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (Body Mass Index; BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to prevent or treat overweight and obesity. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. It would be important to intervene early during growth to restrain the growth of body fatness. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. Yoga practice has been shown to have a myriad of physical and psychological benefits. These include significant loss in weight and body mass index (BMI), resting metabolism, and body fat in obese women with Type 2 diabetes and improves health in the obese. In addition, it has the added benefit of being a gentle exercise. Hence it would seem reasonable to further investigate the benefits of yoga practice on the weight and body composition during adolescence.

 

In today’s Research News article “How Is the Practice of Yoga Related to Weight Status? Population-Based Findings From Project EAT-IV.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5865393/ ), Neumark-Sztainer and colleagues utilized a longitudinal data set from Project EAT of adolescent Middle and High School students. They were measured for yoga practice, body size and demographic characteristics initially and after 5 years.

 

They found that 56.4% of females and 29.1% of males did some yoga while 20.5% of females and 6.1% of males practiced regularly in the past year. The frequency of yoga practice did not differ over weight status, but overweight adolescents were more likely to keep the yoga practice at a gentle level and less likely to engage in hot yoga or engage in a yoga class. Importantly, over the 5-year period the adolescents who practiced yoga had non-significant reductions in Body Mass Index (BMI), an index of body fatness while those that did not practice yoga had a significant increase in BMI. The adolescents who practiced yoga had significantly less body fatness gain over the 5-year period.

 

This study is important as it is a rare longitudinal look at body mass changes in adolescents over a 5-year period. But these results are correlational, so causation cannot be concluded. Nevertheless, the results are suggestive that adolescents benefit from yoga practice. They suggest that prolonged yoga practice works to restrain gain in body fatness during maturation. This could be very important during adolescence when body size is so important for the developing self-image and for social and romantic relationships, and is very important for their health and well-being later in life.

 

So, restrain body fatness growth during adolescence with yoga.

 

“Today urban society is stigmatized with chronic diseases. Unhealthy lifestyle is the main reason for the occurrence of chronic illness. BMI, is a reliable indicator of physical well-being of an individual, as there is urgent attention in the alarming rise of such diseases. Yoga works wonderful in stabilizing BMI and in restoring health.” – Minakshi Welukar

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Neumark-Sztainer, D., MacLehose, R. F., Watts, A. W., Eisenberg, M. E., Laska, M. N., & Larson, N. (2017). How Is the Practice of Yoga Related to Weight Status? Population-Based Findings From Project EAT-IV. Journal of physical activity & health, 14(12), 905-912.

 

Abstract

Background

Yoga may provide a strategy for healthy weight management in young adults. This study examined prevalence and characteristics of young adults’ yoga practice and associations with changes in body mass index (BMI).

Methods

Surveys were completed by 1830 young adults (31.1±1.6 years) participating in Project EAT-IV. Cross-sectional and five-year longitudinal analyses were conducted stratified by initial weight status.

Results

Two-thirds (66.5%) of non-overweight women and 48.9% of overweight women reported ever doing yoga, while 27.2% of non-overweight women and 16.4% of overweight women practiced regularly (≥30 minutes/week). Fewer men practiced yoga. Among young adults practicing regularly (n=294), differences were identified in intensity, type, and location of yoga practice across weight status. Young adults who were overweight and practiced yoga regularly showed a non-significant five-year decrease in their BMI (−0.60 kg/m2; p=0.49), while those not practicing regularly had significant increases in their BMI (+1.37 kg/m2; p<0.01). Frequency of yoga was inversely associated with weight gain among both overweight and non-overweight young adults practicing yoga regularly.

Conclusions

Young adults of different body sizes practice yoga. Yoga was associated with less weight gain over time, particularly in overweight young adults. Practicing yoga on a regular basis may help with weight gain prevention.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5865393/