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Acute Effect of Static Stretching Exercise on Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Young Adults

Yamato, Yosuke, MS, PT; Hasegawa, Natsuki, MS; Sato, Koji, PhD; Hamaoka, Takafumi, PhD, MD; Ogoh, Shigehiko, PhD; Iemitsu, Motoyuki, PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: October 2016 - Volume 95 - Issue 10 - p 764–770
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000498
Original Research Articles

Objective Habitual stretching exercise increases carotid arterial compliance, and acute stretching exercise increases arterial compliance in patients with myocardial infarction. However, it is not known whether this arterial adaptation is sustained after exercise. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a single bout of stretching exercise on the time course of systemic, central, and peripheral arterial stiffness in healthy young subjects.

Design Twenty-six healthy young men performed static stretching exercise involving the entire body (trunk, upper limb, and lower limb) for 40 mins. Pulse-wave velocity (PWV; an index of arterial stiffness), blood pressure, and heart rate were measured before and 0, 15, 30, and 60 mins after stretching exercise.

Results Femoral-ankle PWV and brachial-ankle PWV were reduced relative to baseline 15 and 30 mins after acute stretching (P < 0.05); however, these arterial responses were not sustained for longer periods, and both PWV values returned to the baseline levels within 60 mins. By contrast, carotid-femoral PWV was unchanged.

Conclusion These results suggest that chronic and sufficient repetition of muscle stretch stimulation may result in chronic high arterial compliance, although a single bout of stretch exercise acutely affects arterial compliance.

From the Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, Shiga (YY, NH, KS, TH, MI); Department of Physical Therapy, Aino University, Osaka (YY); and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Toyo University, Saitama, Japan (SO).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Motoyuki Iemitsu, PhD, 1-1-1 Nojihigashi, Kusatsu, Shiga, Japan, 525-8577.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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