Teens with high blood pressure can lower their risk for cardiovascular disease. A recent study showed that 15 minutes of meditation twice a day may be all it takes.
Teenagers and cardiovascular disease were two concepts that just didn’t seem to go together—until recently. With growing rates of obesity in all age groups, teens’ risk for cardiovascular disease has also increased.
A recent study conducted at Georgia Health Sciences University shows that regular meditation practice may decrease teens’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease in those who are most at risk.
Meditate 15 minutes twice a day
In a small study of black teens with high blood pressure, researchers found that those who meditated for 15 minutes twice a day had a smaller left heart ventricle than the control group who didn’t meditate. A larger left ventricle is a predictor of future cardiovascular disease.
“Increased mass of the heart muscle’s left ventricle is caused by the extra workload on the heart with higher blood pressure,” Barnes explained. “Some of these teens already had higher measures of left ventricular mass because of their elevated blood pressure, which they are likely to maintain into adulthood.”
Teens meditated for 15 minutes in a transcendental meditation class and another 15 minutes at home for four months. The control group was given some instruction on how to lower blood pressure, but they didn’t meditate.
Results in four months
After four months, a comparison of before and after echocardiograms showed that teens who meditated had a significant decrease in left ventricle mass.
Transcendental meditation puts the body in a state of deep rest that may be deeper than sleep. Besides having lower left ventricle mass, teens’ school records also showed behavioral improvements.