Working from home: Performance coach provides exercise tips
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Indeed, researchers from the University of Milan suggest that exercise, in the form of stretching, may help us live longer. This is because it improves blood flow and improves your heart health.
The study measured vascular function and arterial stiffness before and after 12 weeks of passive stretch training.
Passive stretching is a stretch where an external force provides the stretch. This can be through a stretching partner, for example.
Active stretching will not involve an external force.
Researchers found that after passive stretching training, “vascular function and arterial remodelling improved” while “arterial stiffness decreased in all the arteries”.
The researchers enlisted around 40 volunteers and split them into two groups.
One group was instructed to do leg stretches five times a week for 12 weeks, and the other group did not.
Those who stretched saw an improvement to their vascular system.
The researchers say this could have implications for diseases that involve changes to blood flow, such as heart attack and stroke.
The study concludes: “The present study clearly demonstrates that 12-week PS training is effective in improving vascular function and decreasing stiffness of the directly involved arteries”.
It suggests that as passive stretching has been shown to be an effective means to improve vascular function, it could have practical implications for its use as a non-pharmacological treatment.
It adds that this could be especially helpful in individuals with limited mobility.
Experts also say that weight loss, and lower blood pressure are also ways to improve heart health.
The NHS says that getting active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
“Do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week,” perhaps by doing 30 minutes of activity on five days a week.
Exercise just once or twice a week can reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.
“Moderate activity will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you’re working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing,” the health body notes.
Being sedentary can lead to some serious physical health risks such as a slower metabolism, muscle weakness, obesity and raised cholesterol levels.
Nonetheless, sleep is also vital for one’s overall health as it’s not just to help one feel more refreshed, but to allow the cells in the muscles, organs, and brain to repair and renew each night.
Sleep also helps regulate your metabolism and how your body releases hormones.
While certain foods could boost longevity, simply lowering intake of meat-based protein could also be linked to a longer lifespan.
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