Simply stretching legs or arms for as little as 20 minutes a day can help improve the health of heart in significant way.
Cardiologist Dr. Rajneesh Kapoor, Director Interventional Cardiology at Medanta The Medicity, conducted a study to analyze the effects of stretching on cholesterol levels and mean heart rate. A total of 22 subjects suffering from knee joint pains and who were unable to walk reasonable distance were enrolled in the program.
Dr. Kapoor tells that he hypothesized that since during stretching there is notable work done by body it should yield cardio vascular health benefits, similar to like it happens with exercising. He tells that the effects of stretching on heart were measured by monitoring levels of triglycerides, low density lipoproteins and mean heart rate, all of which are potent heart health markers.
The study subjects aged between 55 to 65 years in age. All of them were made to perform simple stretching exercise for 5 minutes, 4 times a day. Their triglyceride, LDL and mean heart rate levels were recorded at the beginning of study and after one month.
Dr. Kapoor highlights that his study found average 20 percent decrease in Triglycerides, 12% decrease in LDL levels.
Image Source : i1.irishmirror.ie Average mean heart rate dropped from 84 to 70, hence showing an17% improvement.
These were very significant improvements in just one month from only 15 minutes stretching sessions a day, he added.
He says that the quantum of benefits from daily 20 minute stretching, as noted in study, is comparable with that of mild aerobic exercise. Since it’s very user friendly it can be practiced by anyone and anywhere. And If anyone knows pandiculation ( angdai lena) , he or she knows how to stretch.
Additionally, study subjects reported notable betterment in their gastro intestinal functions. Dr. Kapoor explained that flexibility workouts can lead to stretching of intestines which in turn can better the process of digestion, thereby resulting in better gastro intestinal functions.
Dr. Naresh Trehan , Chairman Medanta The medicity told that “stretching can be an effective exercise option for those who are unable to walk or run for any reason. He says that he regularly performs stretching and breathing exercise whenever he gets a chance, be it in car, home or office. “I also recommend it to my patients post bypass surgery because it yields significant benefits with least efforts involved”, Dr. Trehan adds
Dr. Kapoor tells that “The study introduces new effective route for physical fitness among masses. Stretching can help break ill effects of long sedentary hours, can potentially motivate physical fitness among all population groups and can amplify benefits for brisk walk or running.”
Commemorating World heart Day 2016 that falls on 29th September 2016 .
He told that “Heart disease is the biggest killer, accounting up to 50% of total deaths in India. By being physically active for 45 minutes a day and 6 days a week, be it brisk walk or treadmill or gardening or household works or dancing or sports and likewise, the incidence of heart attack can be prevented by as much as 60 percent. Combine it with quitting smoking , healthy diet, managing stress and 8 hours sound sleep,90 % chances of coronary artery disease ( that leads to heart attack) setting in can be prevented”