The effects of a 6-month moderate-intensity Hatha yoga-based training program on health-related fitness in middle-aged sedentary women: a randomized controlled study

Author: Michał T Boraczyński1, Tomasz W Boraczyński2, Zbigniew Wójcik3, Jan Gajewski4, James J Laskin5
1 Department of Health Sciences, Olsztyn University, Olsztyn, Poland -
2 Department of Health Sciences, Olsztyn University, Olsztyn, Poland.
3 Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland.
4 Department of Physical Education, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
5 School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA.
Conference/Journal: J Sports Med Phys Fitness
Date published: 2020 Aug 1
Other: Volume ID: 60 , Issue ID: 8 , Pages: 1148-1158 , Special Notes: doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10549-8. , Word Count: 302

There is paucity of data examining the effectiveness of long-term Hatha yoga-based (HY) programs focused on the health-related fitness (H-RF) of asymptomatic, sedentary women. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 6-month HY-based training program on H-RF components in sedentary middle-aged women.

Eighty sedentary women were randomly assigned into either the HY group (HYG) (N.=42) or the control group (CG) (N.=38). The 6-month HYG program involved a progressive series of Vinyasa Flow poses performed 3 times/week for 60 minutes (40 minutes within the exercise zone of 60-75% HR<inf>max</inf>). The CG participants did not undergo any physical training or education. Health-related fitness parameters included measures of pre- and post-training: body composition, muscular strength and maximal voluntary isometric torques of elbow flexors and knee extensors, cardio-respiratory fitness, lower back and hamstring flexibility and a static-dynamic balance.

Two-way mixed design ANOVA revealed significant main effects for all the indicators of H-RF. Tukey post-hoc tests confirmed that the HYG demonstrated significant improvements in every variable tested. Examples of the benefits achieved include (all P<.001): an average loss of 1.03 kg and a 4.82% decrease in body fat, 14.6% and 13.1% gains in isometric strength of the knee extensors and elbow flexors respectively, an increase in relative VO<inf>2max</inf> of 6.1% (33.12±5.30 to 35.14±4.82 mL/kg/min), a 4-cm or 10.4% increase in their MSAR, and an average improved Balance Index of 5.6 mm/s. Reversely, the CG showed non-significant changes in H-RF variables (all P>0.05; percent range from -1.4% to 1.1%).

By participating in a moderate-intensity 6-month HY-based training program, middle-aged women can significantly improve their HR-F status. The application of progressive target heart rate goals facilitated greater than expected improvements in cardio-respiratory fitness and improvements in body composition.

PMID: 32955841 DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10549-8