RESEARCH ARTICLE

Clinical Autonomic Research

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 15-18

Stretching increases heart rate variability in healthy athletes complaining about limited muscular flexibility

  • Michael Mueck-WeymannAffiliated withDept. of Psychotherapy & Psychosomatic Medicine, Dresden University of TechnologyInstitute of Physiology and Cardiology, University of Erlangen Email author 
  • , G. JanshoffAffiliated withInstitute of Physiology and Cardiology, University of Erlangen
  • , H. MueckAffiliated withDept. of Psychotherapy & Psychosomatic Medicine, Dresden University of Technology

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Abstract.

An increase in muscular flexibility, as well as a significant beneficial effect on heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV), was observed in healthy male athletes after performing a standardized 15-minute stretching-program over a period of 28 days. We believe the HRV increase to be due, at least in part, to the improved vagal and/or diminished sympathetic control. Therefore, we recommend stretching as an effective and gentle technique for health protection.

Key words

heart rate variability stretching psycho-neuro-cardiac tone