There are plenty of ways to keep your heart healthy and improve your well-being. These include a good diet, cardiovascular exercise, and managing stress. But there’s a lesser-known path to strengthening your heart, and it all comes down to stretching!
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Researchers in Italy recently found that passively stretching every day for 12 weeks improves blood flow and fortifies the vascular system, both of which are excellent for your heart! Not only that, but the activity can also decrease blood pressure, which is especially great news for people who struggle to keep their stress down.
According to the study, this outcome requires practicing passive stretching, which means you use a partner, a piece of equipment (like a ballet bar or even a wall), or gravity itself to help you get a deeper movement.
It’s important to keep in mind that when you’re engaging in a passive stretch, your body should be relatively relaxed. You don’t want to hurt yourself!
Half of the study’s participants did leg stretches five times a day for 12 weeks, while the other half did nothing. The results were clear: The group doing the stretches improved their vascular system noticeably.
This is exciting for people who aren’t huge fans of running long distances or doing other intensive activities. However, stretching doesn’t entirely replace cardiovascular exercise. The study stated, “The positive changes in arterial function by stretching were not as large as those generally considered to occur with aerobic exercise.”
Still, the findings were significant enough for them to encourage physicians to recommend regular passive stretching to their patients!
Simply taking some time to passively stretch every day can make a big difference in your health and well-being. What an awesome way to get your heart a little healthier without having to train for a marathon to do it!
Try taking on a 12-week stretching challenge of your own, and share this story with your friends to encourage them to join you.
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