Worried you’re not getting enough cardio? Research has found yoga has just as many heart-healthy benefits.
Great news for yoga lovers who worry about getting enough cardio exercise: Yoga may be just as good as brisk walking, swimming, and cycling at lowering your risk factors for heart disease, reports the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Researchers found that movement-based yoga practices like hatha, vinyasa, and Iyengar lowered risk factors including high blood pressure, body weight, body mass index, and cholesterol. “The stress-reducing, meditative component of yoga may translate into cardiovascular risk-factor benefit,” says lead study author Paula Chu, a PhD candidate at Harvard University. Though breathing- or meditation-only practices weren’t studied, yogis know firsthand the load these can also take off mind and body.