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Heart-health test: reach for your toes.

HEART-HEALTH TEST: REACH FOR YOUR TOES. Poor trunk flex ibility appears to be associated with arterial stiffness, a precursor to cardiovascular disease, concluded a study in the October 2009 American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. The researchers asked 526 healthy adults aged 20 to 83 to sit and reach forward by bending at the waist. The participants were classified as having poor or high flexibility by how far they were able to reach. Blood pressure, pulse, aortic pressure, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength and endurance were also measured. Poor trunk flexibility was found to be associated with higher blood pressure and was a predictor of arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older participants. The reason for the relationship between trunk flexibility and arterial stiffness is unknown, but the authors speculated that stretching exercises may trigger reactions that keep both arteries and muscles flexible.

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Publication:Duke Medicine Health News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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