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Researchers at Hampton University in Virginia report that a program combining yoga and breathing exercises helped teens shed unwanted pounds.
The study included 60 overweight high school girls and boys who were divided into two groups. One group received 40 minutes of yoga and pranayama (quiet, deep and forced breathing) four times a week for 12 weeks, while those in the control group did their normal activities.
"Pranyama and yoga are two potential exercise solutions that concentrate on the abdominal region. They have been associated with changes in blood flow to different regions of the brain and changes in metabolic activities of the brain," study author Anand B. Shetty, an associate professor in the department of physical therapy, said in a prepared statement.
After 12 weeks, the average body mass index (BMI) in the yoga/pranayama group went from 22.8 to 21.5 (a 5.7 percent decrease), while the average BMI in the control group increased from 22.3 to 22.4.