Today’s Solutions: January 30, 2023

Stretching is great for your mobility and helps prevent injury, but did you know it can also help lower blood pressure? A new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that stretching for just 30 minutes, five days a week can reduce hypertension and lower blood pressure. 

In their experiment, the researchers asked one group of individuals to participate in this regular stretching regimen while an alternative group took a brisk walk for the same amount of time. All participants had a history of hypertension and after eight weeks, the group that partook in stretching actually had a greater reduction in mean blood pressure than the walking group. 

The researchers believe these results are because when you stretch, you loosen up your muscles, but you also reduce stiffness in the arteries allowing blood to pass through more easily and reducing blood pressure.  

“Everyone thinks that stretching is just about stretching your muscles,” said co-author of the study Phil Chilibeck, Ph.D. “But when you stretch your muscles, you’re also stretching all the blood vessels that feed into the muscle, including all the arteries.” 

The researchers did note that the walking group had a greater waist circumference reduction. Regular exercise is definitely still important, but pairing it with a stretching routine is the perfect combination, especially for individuals with blood pressure concerns. 

The good news is that it’s incredibly easy to build a stretching routine into your day. Stretching while you watch tv, listen to a podcast, or even read a book is a great way to fit a healthy habit into your daily downtime. 

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