There are numerous tests out there used by doctors to assess heart health and diagnosis heart disease: electrocardiogram test (EKG/ECG), stress test, omega-3 index test or C-reactive protein test.
New research indicates that flexibility in the body may be related to flexibility of the arteries, and thereby to cardio-vascular health.
Is Your Heart Healthy? Take This Simple Test
The “sit and reach test” is a standardized flexibility test and you can do it at home. It is very easy to do it at home.
1. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched straight out in front of you, toes pointing up.
2. Reach forward from the hips.
Are you flexible enough to touch your toes? If so, then your cardiac arteries probably are also flexible.
Cardiac artery flexibility is one of the less familiar elements of heart health. Supple arterial walls allow the blood to move freely through the body.
Stiff arteries require the heart to work much harder to force blood through the unyielding vessels and over time could, according to Kenta Yamamoto, a researcher at North Texas and lead author of the study, contribute to a greater risk for heart attack and stroke.
“If you can tap your toes while you are standing upright, you have a pretty healthy heart. But if you are unable to do this, you may need to visit a cardiologist. “, said the Japanese researcher Dr. Yamamoto.
The stiffness of the muscles of the back and legs associated with the elasticity of the heart muscle and blood vessels, because they have the same collagen composition.
However, the doctor said stiff muscles are not always a sign of heart disease, but might suggest some other current diseases.
So consider stretching to other measures that are good for your arteries, including eating a healthy diet, getting aerobic exercise, and not smoking. You could end up lengthening your life.