- The benefits of stretching are unprecedented
- It can help in reducing back pain, neck pain, body pain
- It can improve body flexibility and mobility
Stretching is known to provide several health benefits. It can help in reducing body stiffness and can also make the body more flexible and agile. Stretching is done as part of warm up before workout and cool down after workout as it helps in serving both purposes. Now, a new study suggests that stretching can be helpful in lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension. Published in the Journal Of Physical Activity and Health, the study suggests that stretching may be more effective in lowering blood pressure than brisk walking.
How stretching helps in lowering blood pressure
According to Dr Phil Chilibeck, Ph.D, most people think that stretching is just about stretching your muscles. "But when you stretch your muscles, you're also stretching all the blood vessels that feed into the muscle, including all the arteries," he said in a press release.
Not just in muscles, but stretching can also reduce stiffness in arteries, thereby reducing resistance to blood flow and lowering blood pressure, Dr Chilibeck added.
Walking vs stretching: The effect of each on blood pressure
As part of the study conducted by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, a reduction in blood pressure was found in both groups: people who did brisk walking and people who did stretching. In comparison to walking, the stretching program (where participants did full body stretching for 30 minutes, five days a week) resulted in a "decrease in systolic and mean arterial arterial pressures while sitting, diastolic and mean arterial pressures while supine, and night time diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures," as it has been mentioned in the study.
This is not to infer that the walking group did not benefit at all. In fact, the walking group were found to have a greater reduction in waist circumference because of increased physical activity. So, a combination of exercise and stretching can have positive effects on overall health.
One must always take up exercises like walking, cycling, running or jogging as they can help with weight loss, cholesterol reduction and blood sugar regulation.
Stretching exercises you can do every day
Until then, stretching exercises can definitely be beneficial for people with high blood pressure. Here are a few stretching exercises recommended by nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, which you can do every day. These exercise can help in keeping your muscles long, lean and flexible. They can also improve your body balance and reduce the risk of falling.
Along with high blood pressure, stretching can also be beneficial for people with arthritis, body pain, neck pain and back pain. Make sure you maintain regularity for stretching. Doing it for one day and then skipping it for the next three days is not going to be of help. It can take a few weeks, or even months before you become flexible.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.