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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-31

Study the influence of yogic asana on body composition and cardiopulmonary functions of adolescent girls


Department of Physiology, Midnapore College (Autonomous), Midnapore, West Bengal, India

Date of Submission07-Aug-2019
Date of Decision17-Jan-2020
Date of Acceptance18-Feb-2020
Date of Web Publication23-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Indranil Manna
Department of Physiology, Midnapore College (Autonomous), Midnapore - 721 101, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_35_19

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  Abstract 


INTRODUCTION: Inadequate physical activity leads to obesity, diabetes, and cardiopulmonary dysfunctions. Adolescent girls undergo certain changes during this phase of life. Yoga exercises can help to develop their body composition and physiological status and thus maintain good health.
AIM: The present investigation aimed to see the influence of yogic asana on subcutaneous adipose tissue and cardiopulmonary functions of adolescent girls.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 87 girls (age: 12–14 years) were screened, of whom 27 were excluded from the study after medical examinations and the remaining 60 volunteers were grouped randomly into (i) yoga group (n = 30) and (ii) control group (n = 30). The yoga group followed a yoga training of 60 min/day, 6 days/week for 12 weeks with no yoga training in the control group.
RESULTS: The 12 weeks of yogic training showed an increase (P < 0.05) in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), maximum ventilatory volume (MVV), and breath-holding time (BHT), with reduction (P < 0.05) in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat), systolic blood pressure (SBP), resting heart rate (RHR), and respiratory rate (RR) among the yoga group participants. On the other hand, the yoga group exhibited a higher (P < 0.05) level of FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, and BHT and lower (P < 0.05) subcutaneous adipose tissue, SBP, diastolic blood pressure, and RR when compared to the control group after 12 weeks of study.
CONCLUSIONS: Regular practice of yogic asana helps to lower subcutaneous adipose tissue and enhance the cardiopulmonary fitness of adolescent girls, which may reduce the expanses toward medication and increase the productivity.

Keywords: Blood pressure, pulmonary function, subcutaneous adipose tissue, yogic asana


How to cite this article:
Manna I. Study the influence of yogic asana on body composition and cardiopulmonary functions of adolescent girls. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2020;5:26-31

How to cite this URL:
Manna I. Study the influence of yogic asana on body composition and cardiopulmonary functions of adolescent girls. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 31];5:26-31. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2020/5/1/26/283082



Advancement in technology made the life of modern people comfortable and at the same time less active as compared to the past decades when the technology was not so advanced. Inadequate physical fitness may cause various diseases such as risk including obesity, cardiopulmonary disease, and diabetes.[1],[2] Regular physical activities, on the contrary, have beneficial health effects and lower the chances of disease risk.[1],[2] Yoga with an ancient Indian origin has different subtypes, and this includes asana (posture physical exercise), pranayama (breathing exercise), and meditation (focusing mind) applied to keep up wellness.[3] Yogic asana helps to keep up the balance physically and emotionally through asanas and pranayama. Meditations promote the physical and emotional well-being through postures and breathing.[2] The scientific rationales for yoga on mind and body are well accepted. The holistic approach of yoga for promotion of physical fitness, mental health, and spiritually helps in the reduction-based focus of psychopharmacology and finding inner peace and thus draws attention of people worldwide in the recent era.

Regular practice of yoga enhances fitness and co-ordination to brain and muscular activities.[4] Yoga practice helps to support normal healthy lifestyle and physical fitness indicated by decreasing subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat), blood pressure, heart rate, and maintaining lipid profile.[5] Scientific investigation reported that yoga may enhance the defense mechanism by lowering the oxidative damage to body tissues.[6] The pulmonary functions are widely used as a tool for the assessment of pulmonary and overall general health status of an individual.[2] Many studies are available showing the favorable effect of yoga on pulmonary function tests.[2],[7] Adolescence is one of the most important stages of human life, in which rapid changes in body composition and physiological and mental development take place. Adolescent girls undergo certain changes during this phase of life. A balance between body composition and physiological status is required to mention health and develop personality to become a good citizen in the future. Yoga exercises can help to develop the body composition and physiological status and thus mention good health. Studies on the effects of yoga on body composition and physiological status of Bengali advancement girls are limited. The present study has been designed to find the influence of yoga on subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) and cardiopulmonary fitness of adolescent girls who are the future citizen of our country.


  Materials and Methods Top


Subjects

For the present study, a total of 87 healthy female volunteers (age: 12–14 years) who were not performing yogic asana for at least 2 years screened randomly from the Midnapore district, West Bengal, India. Individuals without a history of disease and illness were included. Participants were medically examined by the physicians. Twenty-seven (not matching the criteria = five; decline to take part = seven; the inability to do yoga = ten; and unable to follow the schedule = five) participants were excluded and the remaining 60 volunteers were divided randomly into two groups: (i) yoga group (n = 30) and (ii) control group (n = 30).

Experimental design

The volunteers acclimatized for 15 days while the investigation was conducted for 12 weeks (84 days). A yoga training of 60 min/day, 6 days/week for 12 weeks had been conducted in the yoga group, whereas no such training schedule was followed in controls [8] [Table 1]. Assessment of subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat), heart rate, blood pressure, pulmonary functions performed at 0 week and after 12 weeks [Figure 1] were done.
Table 1: Contents of yogic package practiced by the volunteers during the training schedule

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Figure 1: Consort flowchart

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Ethical consideration

The participants were informed about the study and consent was obtained from them. They asked to keep up normal diet and informed not to involve in any other physical activity during the entire period of the study. The approval was obtained from the ethical committee of the institution for the present investigation (Ref no. MC/IEC (HS)/PHY/FP02/2016; date: June 7, 2016).

Determination of anthropometric variables

The height of the subject was measured in centimeters following a standard method.[9] The body mass of the subject was measured in kilograms following the standard method.[9] Body mass index (BMI) and body surface area (BSA): the following equations are applied for the determination of BMI and BSA.[9]

BMI = weight (kg)/height (m2)

BSA (m2) = body mass (kg)0.425 × height (cm)0.725 × 71.84/10,000.

The amount of subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) and lean body mass (LBM) are measured indirectly using skinfold caliper (Holtain Limited, UK) following the standard method.[10] The skin folds measured from standard skinfold sites are used to obtain the body density (BD) following the standard equation.[11] The body fat and LBM are determined using the following equations.

BD = 1.1369− (0.0598 × L)

Body fat (%) = (495/BD) − 450

Fat mass (FM) FM (kg) = (body mass [kg] body fat [%])/100

LBM (kg) = body mass (kg) − FM (kg).

Assessment of cardiovascular functions

The resting hear rate (RHR) and blood pressure of the volunteers are measured in seating condition after taking 15 min rest using the standard procedure.[12]

Measurement of lung functions

The lung functions (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1]); (forced vital capacity [FVC]); (peak expiratory flow rate [PEFR]); (maximum ventilatory volume [MVV]) are measured following a standard procedure using an electronic spirometer (Spirobank II, MIR, USA).[13] The respiratory rate (RR) and breath-holding time (BHT) are recorded manually.

Statistical analysis

Shapiro–Wilk normality test was conducted to check whether the data were normally distributed. Descriptive statistics including the mean and standard deviation were computed. Paired sample t-test was conducted to find out the differences among the within-group and between-group variables. The significant level was chosen at P ≤ 0.05. A standard statistical software package SSPSS 20 Windows (IBM, USA) was used for the statistical analysis.


  Results Top


Influence of yogic asana on anthropometric variables

The present study showed a significant reduction (P < 0.05) in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) among yoga group participants after 12 weeks of yogic asana practice. Moreover, lower (P < 0.05) subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) was noted in the yoga group when compared to the control group after 12 weeks of study. No difference was noted in body weight, BMI, BSA, and LBM in the yoga group following 12-week yoga practice. Further, no distinct change in anthropometric variables was observed among the control group participants after 12 weeks of study [Table 2].
Table 2: Body composition variables of yoga and control group participants

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Influence of yogic asana on the cardiovascular functions

The present study showed reduced (P < 0.05) systolic blood pressure (SBP) and RHR in yoga group after 12 weeks of yogic asana practice. No significant changes in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were noted in the yoga group after 12 weeks of yogic asana practice. Lower (P < 0.05) SBP and DBP were noted in the yoga group after 12 weeks of the study compared to the control group. The yoga group showed a higher (P < 0.05) RHR compared to the control group at the beginning of the study (0 week) which reduced after yoga practice. However, the control group participants exhibited no change in SBP, DBP, and RHR after 12 weeks of study [Table 3].
Table 3: Blood pressure and heart rate response of yoga and control group participants

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Influence of yogic asana on pulmonary functions

The pulmonary function tests exhibited higher (P < 0.05) FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, and BHT in the yoga group after 12 weeks of yogic asana practice. On the other hand, lower (P < 0.05) RR was observed in the yoga group after 12 weeks of yogic asana practice. The participants of the control group showed no change in FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, BHT, and RR after 12 weeks of study. Moreover, a higher (P < 0.05) level of FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, and BHT was noted in the yoga group when compared to the control group after 12 weeks of study. In addition, lower (P < 0.05) RR was noted in the yoga group compared to the control group after 12 weeks of study. Further, the participants of the yoga group exhibited a higher (P < 0.05) BHT when compared control group participants to at 0 week which increased after yoga practice [Table 4].
Table 4: Pulmonary functions of yoga and control group participants

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  Discussion Top


There was a reduction in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat), HR, BP, RR, and elevation in FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, and BHT following a 12-week yoga practice. The variations appear to depend on the preexisting fitness condition as well as the yoga practice adopted.

Yogic asana practice has a role in maintaining good health and physical fitness. This investigation exhibited that 12 weeks of yogic asana practice reduced the level of subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) in the yoga group after. Moreover, the yoga group showed lower subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) compared to control group after 12 weeks of study. The reduction in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) might be due to yogic asana practice. Yogic asana involves physical activities, flexibility of limbs and stretching of different body parts, deep nostril breathing, etc., and this might be the cause of reduction of subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) among the volunteers performing yogic asana. The yoga practice session was followed in the yoga group whereas in the control group no such training schedule was followed and hence the reduction in body fat was noted in the yoga group participants when compared to the control group participants after 12 weeks of study. Similar observations were noted by many researchers where reduction in body fat was reported following yogic asana practice.[6],[14],[15],[16] On the other hand, no significant change in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat), BMI, BSA, and LBM was noted among the yoga group volunteers after 12 weeks of yogic asana practice. It was possibly owing to improper optimization of the practice or because of short duration of yogic asana practice. Further, no significant change in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat), body mass, BMI, BSA, and LBM was observed in the control group participants after 12 weeks of study. As the control group participants were prohibited from practicing yoga, no change in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat), body mass, BMI, BSA, and LBM was noted among them. An increase in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, etc.[6],[14],[15],[16] Regular yogic asana practice may keep up the normal level of subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) and lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes, etc., and helps to maintaining healthy lifestyle.

The effect of yogic asana practice on cardiovascular functions was studied in the present investigation and found that yoga group participants exhibited a significant reduction in SBP and RHR with no significant difference in DBP following 1 weeks of yogic asana practice. Moreover, lower SBP and DBP was noted in the yoga group participants when compared to the control group participants after 12 weeks of study. It stated that yoga involves deep nostril breathing, flexibility of limbs, and stretching of different body parts which might be the cause of reduction of SBP and heart rate of the participants. Diminution in pulse rate and blood pressure shows a change in the equilibrium of the autonomic nervous system on to the parasympathetic action.[6],[17],[18] The autonomic nervous system response can negotiate directly the way of the limbic system and superior regions of the brain.[17] Everyday practice of yogic asana enhances the baroreflex activity and lowers the sympathetic tonicity, thus returning the blood pressure point to normal.[18] Meditation reduces the condition of strain – by suppressing sympathetic induction and causing in diminished DBP and pulse rate.[18],[19] Further, it has been concluded that the RHR was higher in the yoga group participants when compared to the control group participants at the beginning of the study (0 week), which was reduced after yoga practice. It has been suggested that regular practice of yoga helps in reducing the heart rate. As the control group participants abstained from performing the yoga practice, therefore no change in SBP, DBP, and RHR was noted among them. Similar observations were noted by many investigators where reduction in blood pressure and heart rate was noted after yogic asana practice.[1],[6],[17],[18] Elevation in cardiovascular functions reveals the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Regular practice of yogic asana may restore normal pulse rate and blood pressure which are essential to keep up disease-free life.

Pulmonary functions are essential for assessing the respiratory status of the subject. The pulmonary functions in response to yogic asana practice were studied in the present experiment and seen that there was a significant increase in FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, and BHT and a significant reduction in RR in the yoga group after 12 weeks of yogic asana practice. Moreover, a higher (P < 0.05) level of FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, and BHT was noted in yoga group participants when compared to control group participants after 12 weeks of study. In addition, lower (P < 0.05) RR was noted in yoga group participants when compared to control group participants after 12 weeks of study. Further, it was noted that the BHT was higher (P < 0.05) in the yoga group participants when compared to control group participants at the beginning of the study (0 week) which increased further after yoga practice. It suggested that yogic exercise involves asana (posture physical exercise), pranayama (breathing exercise), and meditation (an approach to training the mind) which probably the reason of raise in FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, and BHT and reduction in RR after yogic asana practice. Yogic asana and postures involve isometric contraction which might raise strength of respiratory muscles including diaphragm, intercostal muscles, and abdominal muscles and hence the elevation in FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, and BHT and reduction in RR observed after yogic asana practice.[8],[9],[20] An earlier study reported that regular practice of yogic asana resulted in a decrease in resting RR, improvement in BHT and MVV.[21],[22] During Kapalbhati abdominal muscles and diaphragm are involved which produces greater force of contraction and helps in forced exhalation.[22] Thus, practice of yogic asana improves the strength of respiratory muscle performance which may, in turn, increase FEV1 in yoga group participants. Anulomvilom (Nadi Shodhan, alternate nostril breathing technique a part of pranayama) strengthens the respiratory muscles. The stronger respiratory muscles may help in increase in PEFR and FEV1 in the yoga group. During yogic asana practice, different breathing techniques may cause the lung alveoli to vacate and fulfill quickly, and this may intern increased FVC.[21],[22] All the maneuvers during pranayama, i.e., deep inspiration and prolonged expiration are performed by the nasal opening which increase the strength of the respiratory muscles and decreases the resistance to the air flow in the lungs. Yogic asana practice has an impact on the cognitive perception, decreases the psychological strain, and thus takes away the bronchoconstrictor action.[21],[22] Pranayama, influence the higher center of the brain that regulates respiration and as a result causes an increase in the voluntary breath holding time (BHT) and lowers the resting respiratory rate (RRR).[20],[21],[22] As the control group participants were not performing yoga, no change in FVC, FEV1, PEFR, MVV, BHT, and RR was noted among them. Thus, regular practice of yogic, pranayama, and meditation may improve the pulmonary functions which are essential to keep up disease-free lifestyle.


  Conclusions Top


Regular practice of yogic asana, pranayama, and meditation improves the fitness which mediated by lowering body fat and improving cardiopulmonary functions. The results of the present investigation propose that yogic asana practice can be employed as an impressive life-style method for reducing the risk of obesity and cardiopulmonary diseases. Thus, regular practice of yogic asana, pranayama, and meditation is helpful to overcome stress and keep up disease-free lifestyle. As the young adolescent girls are the future workforce of our country, keeping healthy and disease-free lifestyle reduces the burden of medication and enhances productivity.

Acknowledgment

The authors sincerely and wholeheartedly acknowledge the contribution of the participants who have participated in this study. The authors are also thankful to the UG and PG students, coaches, and laboratory staffs for extending their support for conducting the present study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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    Figures

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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