Exploring the Effect of Yoga on Exercise Endurance As Assessed by Cardiorespiratory Efficiency Tests in Exercise Physiology Laboratory: A Pilot Study

Author: Ruchi Kothari1, Gaurav Mittal1, Prashanth A1, Pradeep Bokariya2
1 Department of Physiology, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, IND.
2 Department of Anatomy, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha, IND.
Conference/Journal: Cureus
Date published: 2023 Apr 29
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: e38283 , Special Notes: doi: 10.7759/cureus.38283. , Word Count: 407

Background Today's world of cut-throat competition is boggling with stress as the most common problem among the modern generation, and reduction in stress demands a radical solution. Yoga comes as a rescuer that focuses on improving one's physical and spiritual well-being. It can increase one's strength and flexibility. Yoga practitioners have asserted the effect of physical exercise involved in it on balancing physical and spiritual health for decades, but only recently has there been a move to substantiate these claims through research. This study aimed at assessing the effect of yogic practice on exercise endurance and physical fitness as assessed by important physical fitness parameters through cardiorespiratory efficiency tests in an Exercise Physiology Laboratory. Methodology A total of 60 Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students from a rural medical college in central India were recruited for the study. Thirty MBBS students who had undergone yogic training for six months comprised the trained or the case group, and another group of 30 students comprising the untrained group were recruited for the study from different levels of the course within the age group of 17-25 years. Body mass index (BMI) and body surface area (BSA) were calculated. Resting pulse rate and blood pressure, resting respiratory rate, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), physical fitness index (PFI), breath holding time (BHT), and 40 mm Hg endurance test time was measured. Results The mean PFI (%) in males was 88.82±5.56 and 96.05±7.44, and that in females was 82.06±8.95 and 96.55±6.47 in the control and case groups, respectively. The mean 40 mm Hg endurance test (in seconds) in males was 36.47±8.45 and 48.88±8.64 and in females was 29.79±10.30 and 38.4±10.69 in the control and test groups, respectively. The mean BHT (in seconds) in males was 44.80±14.18 and 58.91±12.35, and that in females was 42.29±15.37 and 54.60±13.36 as in control and case groups, respectively. The VO2 max evaluated by the modified Harvard step test was 2.41±0.58 L/min in control males and 3.6±0.90 L/min in the case group of males, and it was 2.14±0.49 L/min in the control group of females, and 3.76±0.69 L/min in case group of females. Conclusion By studying the dynamics of the various cardiorespiratory responses, we have determined the values of fitness parameters in the case group. It was found that the yoga group had statistically significantly higher VO2 max per minute and better PFI, BHT, and 40 mm Hg endurance values (p<0.05).

Keywords: breath-holding test; cardiorespiratory fitness; harvard step test; medical student assessment; physical fitness index; vo2 max; yoga research.

PMID: 37255888 PMCID: PMC10226282 DOI: 10.7759/cureus.38283