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Madanmohan*, Kaviraja Udupa, Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Chetan Chinmaya Shatapathy and Ajit Sahai**

Department of Physiology, **Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry – 605 006, India

Abstract: This study reports the effects of yoga training on cardiovascular response to exercise and the time course of recovery after the exercise. Cardiovascular response to exercise was determined by Harvard step test using a platform of 45 cm height. The subjects were asked to step up and down the platform at a rate of 30/min for a total duration of 5 min or until fatigue, whichever was earlier. Heart rate (HR) and blood pressure response to exercise were measured in supine position before exercise and at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 minutes after the exercise. Rate-pressure product [RPP = (HR × SP)/100] and double product (Do P = HR × MP), which are indices of work done by the heart were also calculated. Exercise produced a significant increase in HR, systolic pressure, RPP & DoP and a significant decrease in diastolic pressure. After two months of yoga training, exerciseinduced changes in these parameters were significantly reduced. It is concluded that after yoga training a given level of exercise leads to a milder cardiovascular response, suggesting better exercise tolerance.

Key words: yoga training , Harvard step test , rate-pressure product , double product

Yogic techniques are known to improve one’s overall performance and work capacity. Following the study of Bhattacharya & Krishnaswami (1) in which they observed that yoga exercises do not produce marked effect on physical and physiological performance, there have been several reports on the beneficial effects of yoga training on physiological functions. Muralidhara & Ranganathan (2) have reported an improvement in cardiac recovery index after 10 week yoga training programme. Raju et al (3) have found a significant increase in maximal work output and a significant increase in oxygen consumption per unit work after yoga training. Bera & Rajapurkar (4) have reported a significant improvement in cardiovascular endurance and anaerobic power as a result of yoga training. However,Balasubramanian & Pansare (5) have reported that yoga training produces a significant decrease in anaerobic power. Exercise stress testing is a valuable tool for evaluating physical fitness and cardiorespiratory status. The effect of physical training on exercise tolerance is well known. However, there are limited studies on the effect of yoga training on cardiovascular response to stress. Moreover, there is paucity of information on the effect of yoga training on the time course of the cardiovascular response following exercise. In view of this, the present study was planned with the objective of determining the effect of yoga training on the cardiovascular response to step test and its time course after the exercise in normal young volunteers.

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