According to a new study done by scientists from the Saskatchewan University, stretching is better than brisk walking when it comes to lowering hypertension in hypertensive people or people at a higher risk of it.
The co-author of the study and professor of kinesiology Dr. Phil Chilibeck notes that the study came about by chance while they were comparing one group who was walking and another one who was taking supplementation.
He explains that when they gave the control group a stretching program, they analyzed their results and didn’t spot changes in the blood pressure they hope for neither with the supplementation or the walking.
However, they were surprised that the control group was going down.
Chilibeck Decides to Go Back to Literature
During his research, Chilibeck discovered several studies which found that by stretching a muscle, you also stretch the blood vessels flowing through the limbs. Consequently, it lowers their stiffness.
So, stretching them daily and weekly will lead to blood vessels that are less stiff and a lower blood pressure.
The doctor’s tam then made a large-scale trial which compared the effects on blood pressure of walking and stretching. Eight weeks later, stretching was found to offer better results than walking.
Stretching Is Better for Reducing Your Blood Pressure than Walking
Those who were part of the stretching program did 21 stretches of their upper and lower body and did it several times per day. They held each stretch for 30 seconds.
However, the doctor still believes that even stretching only the larger muscle groups in the lower body would suffice (calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps).
Chilibeck also explains that there’s a nervous system element to these benefits-namely, when we stretch, a part of our nervous system is activated and we become more relaxed.
He says that both people with moderate and high blood pressure would benefit from stretching.