New York: Not just daily walk or controlling salt in your diet, learning some Hula dance steps can also help you lower blood pressure, find researchers. Native Hawaiians who participated in a blood-pressure-lowering program incorporating their cultural dance of hula lowered their blood pressure more than those who received standard education on diet and exercise.
Despite treating hypertension, many Native Hawaiians have difficulty controlling their high blood pressure, which increases their risk for coronary heart disease and stroke,” said Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula, professor and chair of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Hula is a Polynesian dance form accompanied by chant or song. It was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. To reach the conclusion, the researchers recruited more than 250 Native Hawaiians (average age 58 years, 80 per cent female) who, although under medical treatment, still had a systolic (top number) blood pressure of 140 mmHg or higher or had a systolic blood pressure of 130 mmHg or higher and also had Type 2 diabetes.
Hula participants attended one-hour group hula classes twice a week for three months, followed by one monthly lesson for three additional months with self-directed practice, as well as group activities to reinforce hypertension education and healthy behaviors. After six months, researchers found that compared with people in the control group, those who did the Hula were more likely to have lowered their blood pressure to under 130/80 mmHg — the current target for blood pressure treatment for patients without diabetes. The participants said the hula was fun and helped meet their spiritual and cultural needs.” (IANS)