Working out has countless benefits for your health, from weight loss to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, among many others. In fact, a new study reveals that one particular workout may even have cancer-fighting properties: yoga.
A new clinical trial presented at the American Urological Association's Annual Meeting followed a group of 30 male patients with prostate cancer who were having prostatectomies. Half of the group were instructed to practice yoga twice a week for 60 minutes over a six-week period prior to their prostatectomy and for between three and six weeks following their surgery.
The study's researchers found that, compared to the study's control group, members of the yoga group showed reduced quantities of regulator T-cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, indicating potential tumor-fighting benefits.
That wasn't the only benefit researchers discovered among the study subjects who practiced yoga… they also found that practicing yoga improved measures of sexual, social, and overall physical wellbeing among study subjects.
What's more, the participants who practiced yoga saw a reduction in MCP-1, a chemokine that has been linked to cognitive impairment and various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. According to a 2018 study published in Scientific Reports among a group of 310 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 66 with mild cognitive impairment, those with higher concentrations of MCP-1 saw their cognitive function deteriorate faster than those with lower MCP-1 concentrations.
What other benefits does yoga have for your health?
Incorporating yoga into your regular routine can also give you a serious mood boost.
According to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, doing just 12 sessions of hatha yoga resulted in significant reductions in anxiety, depression, and stress among the 52 women who participated in the trial.
For more great ways to improve your health, check out these Secret Side Effects of Doing Yoga Before Breakfast, Says Science, and for the latest fitness news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!
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