Stretching more effective than walking to lower high blood pressure: Study

A new University of Saskatchewan (USask) study has found that stretching is superior to brisk walking for reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure or who are at risk of developing elevated blood pressure levels.

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Walking has long been the prescription of choice for physicians trying to help their patients bring down their blood pressure. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and among the top preventable risk factors affecting overall mortality.

This new finding, published December 18, 2020 in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, shows that stretching should be part of a well-rounded treatment plan for people wrestling with hypertension.

“Everyone thinks that stretching is just about stretching your muscles,” said kinesiology professor Dr. Phil Chilibeck (PhD), a co-author of the study. “But when you stretch your muscles, you’re also stretching all the blood vessels that feed into the muscle, including all the arteries. If you reduce the stiffness in your arteries, there’s less resistance to blood flow,” he said, noting that resistance to blood flow increases blood pressure.


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16 responses to “Stretching more effective than walking to lower high blood pressure: Study

  1. Very sensible advice. Concurs with Sanjay Gupta’s book.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been doing yoga once a week for 2 years now, which is all about stretching. I love it! And now it appears that it does more good than I had ever thought 🙂 – thanks for the article, Tony.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great article Tony./. As you and I both know yoga is awesome and so is walking.. We can find a study these days to support anything. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think both is best, as yoga works differently than walking. And while stretching alone is good, with mindful breathing it’s yoga and better, much better.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Off the topic but here’s an article on aging and cycling if you haven’t seen it. If you have, apologies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Will check it out.👍 (written later) I did check it out. Really interesting. Very impressive details. Must confess that at my age, will turn 81 before month’s end, I have zero interest in speed records. I ride fast enough to let my heart know I still care. My resting heart rate is below 50 and has been for years. I take no beta-blockers or other drugs. Nice to read about the 90-year-old with great speeds. It’s just not my cup of tea.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think it’s useful in terms of what could be done if you have the right genes, conditioning, opportunity, and drive. But yeah, mostly I think it would be nice to slow down the slowing down. Not sure it can or will happen in my case. One advantage of going faster is getting off the bike sooner to do other things, especially in winter up north where you are, right? Keep on doing your thing!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Yoga is excellent for stretching and lowering the blood pressure

    Liked by 1 person

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