Stretching legs may help prevent heart disease

Stretching your legs just five times a week can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke new Italian study finds.
stretch heart health

Stretching your legs improves blood flow in important arteries and can reduce heart disease risk.*

“But as we now see with the Covid virus even healthy people get sick. That’s why planning for the financial consequences of a critical illness is still so vital.”

Jesse Slome, director of the American Association of Critical Illness Insurance

Stretch Heart Health – New Research Can Benefit All

New research shows that stretching your legs can help prevent heart disease. Researchers in Italy report that 12 weeks of passive stretching helps improve blood flow. This makes it easier for your arteries to dilate and decreases their stiffness.

The report published in the Journal of Physiology explains the work of researchers at the University of Milan. A group of 39 healthy participants of both sexes were divided into two groups. The control group didn’t undergo any stretching. The second group performed leg stretches five times a week for 12 weeks.

Researchers found that the arteries in both the lower leg and upper arm had increased blood flow . They also found increased arterial dilation when stimulated, along with decreased stiffness.

The scientists noted there may be positive implications for diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These critical illnesses are characterized by changes in blood flow control as a result of an impaired vascular system.

The two stretching groups underwent 12 weeks of passive stretching training. Thy participated in five sessions per week (60 sessions in total). Each session lasted 40 minutes and included two exercises for the knee extensor and the plantar flexor muscles. They went for 45 seconds of elongation and 15 seconds recovery in the resting position. The set was repeated five times.

The researchers concluded their report noting the following. Passive stretching has been shown to be an effective means to improve vascular function, with practical implications for its use as a novel non‐pharmacological treatment for improving vascular health, reducing the overall cardiovascular risk, especially in individuals with limited mobility.

In the US one heart attack every 40 seconds, one stroke every 40 seconds

Stretch heart health: an easy recommendation to follow. “Stretching is the simplest of exercises and all who want to prevent heart disease can easily benefit,” says Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance. ”But as we now see with the Covid virus even healthy people get sick. That’s why planning for the financial consequences of a critical illness is still so vital.”

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