The steps to lower blood pressure are not in competition with one another. But if they were, you may want to bet on stretching.
New research suggests that stretching may be more effective than a brisk walk for relaxing arteries, encouraging blood flow, and reducing blood pressure.
Who’d have thought?
Of course, if you’re going out for a walk each day, do not stop. Simply consider implementing a stretching routine as well. For those of you who don’t regularly walk but think stretching is a suitable option for you, give it a try.
Stretching is easy to do at home. You can even do it in front of the television if you wanted to. All you have to do is get down on the floor and spend about 30 minutes stretching, five times per week.
Research suggests stretching may reduce arterial stiffness and improve blood flow to lower hypertension and heart disease risk.
The study, published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, randomly assigned participants to a stretching group or a brisk walking group. The average age of participants was 61, and the study lasted for two months.
All participants had high-normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension at the beginning of the trial.
Participants in the stretching group utilized 21 stretching exercises, performing each movement twice and holding it for 30 seconds. They had 15-minutes of rest between stretches, and each session took 30 minutes. It was performed five times per week.
The brisk walking group went for 30 minutes, five times per day.
The stretching group showed greater improvements in blood pressure at the end of the trial.
Stretching is a good option for most because it requires virtually no equipment, it can be done in any weather, it does not put pressure on the joints, and you can do it anywhere.
If you’re looking for ways to build healthier veins and reduce your risk for blood pressure, a stretching protocol may be worth adding to your routine.