We all know that exercise is one of the best ways to stay physically and mentally healthy. But what about individuals who can’t safely engage in aerobic activities due to injuries or certain medical conditions?
A new study has found that regular stretching can boost cardiovascular fitness for people who can’t safely exercise. A small study of 26 sedentary men in their early 20s found that, after a 40-minute session of whole-body stretching, the participants’ arterial functions in the upper and lower body improved for up to an hour.
Researchers say that adding stretching to your routine can improve long-term arterial health and serve as a safe alternative to aerobic exercise.
Other studies have found that static stretching lowered blood pressure and improved blood flow in elderly patients, reinforcing the idea that there’s more than one way to improve and maintain your arterial health.
Static stretching is relevant to all of us, regardless of whether or not we can engage in aerobic exercise. For example, individuals who sit at a desk job for hours each day benefit from static stretching. The activity is simple —it involves slow muscle stretches, which are performed in one position and held for several seconds.
Although this recent study featured a small number of participants, the results are promising and provide hope for those who are concerned about their health due to their inability to engage in conventional aerobic exercise. If you can’t safely hop on the treadmill or elliptical each day, it’s encouraging to know there’s more than one way to stay fit.
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