Many people are unaware that how flexible they are actually determines how flexible their arteries are. One good way to gauge your flexibility is by doing a “sit and reach” exercise. It basically involves you sitting down with your legs stretch out. After which, simply bend forward to see if you are able to reach your toes. Some of us might have more difficulty than others as we aren’t as flexible. This also indicates the stiffness of our arteries. Fret now though, as research has shown that stiffness of arteries can be overcome with stretching exercises.
It is important to overcome arterial stiffness because it could potentially lead to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke. Healthy blood vessels are elastic and that flexibility has the ability to manage blood pressure. As we grow older, it is normal that arterial stiffness also increases. However, by participating regularly in exercise and remaining physically fit, it can help to delay the process.
If how flexible our body is decides the stiffness of our arteries, then we should take part in more stretching exercises to become more flexible and reduce the stiffness. Two of the most highly recommended exercises are none other than yoga and pilates. Both of these exercises will surely help to increase one’s flexibility. Aside from that, these exercises also have the capacity to reduce the stiffening of the arteries as our age increases. Furthermore, research has also shown significant improvements in the flexibility of carotid arteries in the neck of those middle-aged and older adults who participate in yoga or pilates.
Although there are still many ongoing research on ways to battle arterial stiffness, doctors believe that practicing yoga and pilates regularly are still two very effective methods of battling with stiff arteries. It will definitely be an advantage to one if he or she is able to start at a young and tender age. This helps to incorporate a good learning habit from young and he or she will be able to maintain it for the rest of their lives. By doing so, they will get to lead a healthier lifestyle. More importantly, they won’t have to be overly concern with arterial stiffness as they age because their bodies are still flexible and in good shape.
For those middle-aged or older adults, it is never too late to start either. Always keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. Hence, even if you aren’t in any danger of any cardiovascular diseases, it is still a good choice to pick up yoga or pilates. Besides, there are so many other benefits that yoga and pilates have to offer.