With cardiovascular diseases on the rise, a small study out of Milan is making major headlines. Here is how you can stretch your way to better health.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
While cardiovascular exercise that gets your heart pumping is still suggested, the study found that passive stretching 5 times a week delivered significant improvement in flow-mediation dilation. The study was small, containing just 39 people split into 2 groups, those who stretched and those who did not. After 12 weeks of stretching blood pressure decreased, vascular function improved, and central and peripheral arterial stiffness was reduced.
What Is Passive Stretching?
Active and passive are the two types of stretching. While not forceful, passive stretching requires some type of resistance or external force. Resistance can be achieved in some stretches with your body weight and gravity can act as an external, force but many passive stretches require a stretching aide, like a block, band, ball, ring, or roller. You can also do partner stretching for a passive approach.
Stretching is easy and doesn’t require breaking a sweat, so you can do it in the middle of your workday, while watching TV, before going to bed, and more!