Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can doing yoga make you healthier?"
I was considering doing some yoga just to help my flexibility. Will it make me healthier too? Should I talk to my doctor before I start?
No physician will be able to tell you the exact health benefits of yoga and other types of stretching exercises. This is because no medical studies have been done to address the question of what benefit yoga would have on your health. With that said, I think that most physicians would say that yoga stretching and exercises are at the very least not very harmful (unless you have a muscular or skeletal injury), and at the very most good good for your heart and vascular system. As I said above, yoga has not be thoroughly studied by the medical community. However, almost all physicians agree that aerobic exercise is beneficial to your body. While yoga is not the best of aerobic exercise, it does get your heart rate up a little. Yoga can also be relaxing (for some people). It is conceivable that people with high blood pressure would benefit from yoga through relaxation induced blood pressure reduction. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. You can pose this question to him or her. Your doctor will be best at giving you advice on what type of physical activity is best for your health with your own personal past medical history in mind. Good luck.
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