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J Altern Complement Med. 2014 May;20(5):411-6. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0205. Epub 2013 Dec 28.

Effects of Buddhism walking meditation on depression, functional fitness, and endothelium-dependent vasodilation in depressed elderly.

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1
1 Faculty of Sports Science, Chulalongkorn University , Bangkok, Thailand .

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of the novel Buddhism-based walking meditation (BWM) and the traditional walking exercise (TWE) on depression, functional fitness, and vascular reactivity.

DESIGN:

This was a randomized exercise intervention study.

SETTINGS/LOCATION:

The study was conducted in a university hospital setting.

SUBJECTS:

Forty-five elderly participants aged 60-90 years with mild-to-moderate depressive symptoms were randomly allocated to the sedentary control, TWE, and BWM groups.

INTERVENTIONS:

The BWM program was based on aerobic walking exercise incorporating the Buddhist meditations performed 3 times/week for 12 weeks.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Depression score, functional fitness, and endothelium-dependent vasodilation as measured by the flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were the outcome measures used.

RESULTS:

Muscle strength, flexibility, agility, dynamic balance, and cardiorespiratory endurance increased in both exercise groups (p<0.05). Depression score decreased (p<0.05) only in the BWM group. FMD improved (p<0.05) in both exercise groups. Significant reduction in plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and C-reactive protein were found in both exercise groups, whereas low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, cortisol, and interleukin-6 concentrations decreased only in the BWM group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Buddhist walking meditation was effective in reducing depression, improving functional fitness and vascular reactivity, and appears to confer greater overall improvements than the traditional walking program.

PMID:
24372522
DOI:
10.1089/acm.2013.0205
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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