Climbing said to blood pressure, strengthen leg muscles

Climbing stairs is said to have immense positive impact on one’s health and now a new study says that it helps in lowering blood pressure as well as strengthen leg muscles.

According to researchers people who do not have enough time for aerobics or resistance training, climbing stairs could be the next best option as it helps build up leg strength as well as offers cardio to some extent. Climbing stairs is found to have huge benefits for women with estrogen deficiencies who are more susceptible to vascular and muscle problems.

Exercising at any age is beneficial but the key is to find the right kind / form of exercises depending on your health conditions and age. For postmenopausal women, identifying the right form of exercise to achieve the desired benefits without creating additional health problems is more complicated.

High-intensity resistance training, for example, is an effective intervention for reducing age-related loss of muscle strength in postmenopausal women. However, it also has the potential to increase blood pressure in middle-aged adults with prehypertension or hypertension. These negative effects have been minimized by combining aerobic and resistance training, but there are barriers that prevent many women from taking advantage of the benefits. These real and perceived barriers include lack of time, money, nearby fitness facilities, poor weather, and a sense of embarrassment.

Stair climbing, in contrast, offers the benefits of aerobic and resistance exercise for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and leg muscle strength in postmenopausal women without their having to leave the house or pay a fee. It offers the additional benefits of fat loss, improved lipid profiles, and reduced risk of osteoporosis. Before this study, stair climbing had not been evaluated for its effects on blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which is a thickening and stiffening of the arterial wall.

In the study researchers have provided their findings involving Korean postmenopausal women who trained four days a week, climbing 192 steps two to five times a day. The study concluded that stair climbing led to reductions in arterial stiffness and blood pressure and increases in leg strength in stage 2 hypertensive postmenopausal women.