Stretchworks has been featured in various magazines including My Weekly, Running Free, Womens Fitness, Real People, Your Wellness, Women’s Weekly, Chat and OK magazine.
Articles – written by Alison Evans, founder of Stretchworks.
Stretch your way to a healthy heart
Your Wellness Magazine
Contribution for Dr Sarah Brewer writing an article on Heart health
We tend to link cardiovascular activities to a stronger healthier heart but recent research in the American Journal of Physiology suggests that by improving your flexibility through stretching, it actually helps the arteries expand and contract more efficiently making them more pliable and flexible, strengthening the heart. And more surprisingly, these findings appear to be dependent on flexibility as opposed to strength and cardiovascular fitness. As arterial stiffness invariably precedes cardiovascular disease which can be life threatening, this research offers an alternative approach to fitness especially for those who aren’t especially keen on high intensity cardio fitness!
As a specialist in stretching techniques with 25 years experience, I welcome such research. The long-term benefits of stretching are vast and well documented. Aside from the more obvious benefits; increasing mobility, reducing muscular tension, improving posture and balance, stretching plays a pivotal role in rehabilitative care and more importantly, our overall health.
Controlled stretching where the muscles are relaxed and therefore able to function more efficiently and effectively, improves circulation with increased oxygen delivery. This has a huge impact on the health of the heart and arteries. Blood pressure is lowered, energy levels are higher and the body is able to function in a healthier happier state of well-being.
Reference: K. Yamamoto et al. Poor Trunk Flexibility is Associated with Arterial Stiffening. American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 297: H1314-H1318, 2009
Womens weekly Magazine
Passive stretching for fibromyalgia will significantly reduce the discomfort and pain that this debilitating condition inflicts on an individual on a daily basis. It is all too tempting to live on painkillers and be inactive thereby making the condition much worse for the long-term. A very gentle approach will encourage the muscles to relax and lengthen promoting good circulation which is vitally important in helping muscles receive adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients in the healing process. If stretching is not introduced, over time the muscles will tighten and limit range of movement causing considerable pain and discomfort.
However, it is important to emphasis passive stretching as opposed to anything enforced. And that this approach enables the muscles to relax and stretch safely. Once the muscles feel reassured and relaxed, sufferers of fibromyalgia will start to feel the benefits and be able to take the stretches a little further. In this instance, less or more!
www.allabout you.com – online magazine
As a specialist in fitness training and creator of Stretchworks I have worked extensively with women going through menopause. I also have personal experience, being at the perimenopausal stage for the past 2 years!
Exercise in general is pivotal in helping women through the challenging menopausal years. First and foremost, I would encourage women to find an activity they enjoy doing because any exercise is beneficial. However, it is important to note that during the menopausal years lower impact exercise, controlled stretching and strengthening workouts are advisable. Having said that, if you love something that is high impact then my advice would be to keep doing it but maybe find a way to adapt it so it doesn’t put undue stresses and strains on the body.
As oestrogen levels decrease during menopause, bones and joints become more vulnerable and bone density decreases (osteoporosis), therefore you are more susceptible to injury. High impact exercise may place undue stress on the joints especially around the knees, hips and back. The right type of exercise will build muscle strength, stability and flexibility which, in turn, will help protect the bones/joints from deteriorating further. Also any opportunity to relax, breathe, and even meditate while exercising, will have a profound effect on alleviating mood swings and reducing stress levels.
…Aside from the more obvious benefits; increasing mobility, reducing muscular tension, improving posture and balance, stretching plays a pivotal role in rehabilitative care and more importantly, our overall health.