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Yoga Helps Baby Boomers Keep The Pounds Off

In another example of how any kind of physical activity can be beneficial to your health -- especially that of baby boomers -- practicing yoga regularly can promote weight loss and prevent "middle-age spread." The study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is the first of its kind to measure the benefits of yoga on weight on more than 15,000 healthy men and women.

Between ages 45-55, most men and women gain about a pound each year, according to researchers, and typically don't adjust the caloric intake to match their declining energy needs. However, patients of a normal weight at age 45 who practiced yoga regularly (meaning 30 minutes a week for four or more years) over a decade gained 3 fewer pounds.

Even better, overweight patients who did yoga every week lost 5 pounds over a decade versus those who passed on yoga and gained 14 pounds over that same time. Why does yoga make such a difference? The lead researcher believes the regular practice of yoga leads one to a far greater awareness of his or her body. For example, if you're more attuned to your body, you'll know when you're sated, and stop eating.

What's more, practicing yoga regularly can also help to relax arteries of patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Other modest physical efforts -- leisurely distance walking, coupled with low-impact cardiovascular activity -- can prove beneficial to weight loss too.

Science Daily July 22, 2005

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