Much like our Stretch-n-Release technique, passive stretching improves vascular function and may reduce your risk of heart disease. By now, you have heard me say many times how a stretched muscle reduces pressure on the circulatory, nervous, and skeletal system of the body. I recently read a study in The Journal of Physiology, “Evidence for improved systemic and local vascular function after long‐term passive static stretching training of the musculoskeletal system,” and it stated that passive stretching does improve the vascular system and arterial stiffness.
About the Vascular Function Study:
Stretching did improve their vascular function, and arterial stiffness, but it was a small study of only 39 people. Each participant’s arterial stiffness, vascular functioning, and vascular remodeling were evaluated before and after a 12 week period of passive stretching, then again, after 6 weeks after stopping the stretching. While for the 12 week period and for the short term afterward, their vascular function and arterial stiffness did improve, but it didn’t last long, by 6 weeks it was back to where they started. To see the full study, here is the link.
Why Stretching Improves Vascular Function?
Stretching is a forever thing in your life. Now we can see, stretching improves vascular function. To only do things until the pain stops is today’s mindset, therefore to live a more pain-free life, the mindset must change. I like to think of stretching like eating. I can eat all the food I want today, but no matter what, tomorrow I will wake up hungry. We all know why our body uses up the energy(calories) through movement and breathing. Our muscles work very similarly. No matter how much stretching I do this morning, every movement I make during the day will tighten my muscles.
Stretching like our Stretch n’ Release Technique allows you to relax the muscle using your breath and brain. This allows you to let go of the emotional tension in your body so the muscle can relax and elongate. This removes pressure from the joints, spine, nerves, and blood system.
Does Diet Play a Role?
Our diet plays a huge role as well. By reducing the starches and sugar from processed foods and baked goods. Therefore, starches and sugars will cause the body to crave glucose from those foods as fuel instead of fat. This means lower energy levels, crashing throughout the day, and an increase in belly fat which leads to heart disease. In order to improve energy levels and causing the body to fuel itself more from fat than sugar, people should be eating a more plant-based diet with a little meat. I will talk about this more in a future post.
The key is stretching is a daily thing for the rest of your life. I would suggest 2-3 times per day for no more than 15 minutes at a time. Your body needs the movement and emotionally it reduces stress while you are stretching which can last throughout the day. With passive stretching, like Stretch n’ Release Technique, you will feel more relaxed and have more energy. For videos on stretching, go to our You Tube Channel.
Read the Study
Site citation- Bisconti, A.V., Cè, E., Longo, S., Venturelli, M., Coratella, G., Limonta, E., Doria, C., Rampichini, S. and Esposito, F. (2020), Evidence for improved systemic and local vascular function after long‐term passive static stretching training of the musculoskeletal system. J Physiol. doi:10.1113/JP279866