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Yogic Moments: Age Old Yoga, Benefits All Age Groups

by Medindia Content Team on March 9, 2006 at 3:24 PM
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Yogic Moments: Age Old Yoga, Benefits All Age Groups

Yoga is known for its immense health benefits. Now, teens, who want that dream weight, can seriously consider yoga, which is a proven method to keep obesity at bay, according to a new study. Researchers at Hampton University in Virginia have revealed that a program which combined yoga with breathing exercises certainly helped knock off the extra weight.

60 overweight high school girls and boys participated in a study. They were divided into two groups. One group were asked to participate in 40 minutes of yoga and pranayama (quiet, deep and forced breathing) four times a week for 12 weeks, while participants in the control group did their usual chores.

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Study author Anand B. Shetty, an associate professor in the department of physical therapy said "Pranyama and yoga are two potential exercise solutions that concentrate on the abdominal region. They have been associated with changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain and changes in metabolic activities of the brain" After 12 weeks, it was observed that the average body mass index (BMI) in the yoga/pranayama group went from 22.8 to 21.5, while the BMI in the control group increased from an average of 22.3 to 22.4. In Shetty's words "The average body weight reduction for the pranayama group was six pounds, with no restrictions on either group in daily caloric intake. The decrease in the pranayama group could be attributed to two factors: the pranayama and yoga exercises themselves, and a possible decrease in daily caloric intake by the participants in the pranayama group because of decreased stomach size."

The findings have suggested that yoga and pranayama can certainly ward off teen obesity and would certainly merit an introduction in schools According to Shetty, 30 minutes of pranayama and yoga, three to four times a week, will do the trick.

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