Posted on Feb 27, 2018, 8 p.m.
Climbing the stairs has been shown in new research to lower blood pressure along with strengthen leg muscles in postmenopausal women as published in the journal Menopause.
It is already well known that exercise is good for an individual’s overall health, but for postmenopausal women identifying the correct kinds of exercises to reach benefits without additional side effects can be complicated, making the findings of this study to be particularly relevant as estrogen deficiencies can increase vulnerability to vascular and muscle issues.
High intensity resistance training is an effective intervention to participate in to avoid age related loss of muscle strength in postmenopausal women, but it has side effects such as elevated blood pressure among middle aged adults with hypertension, and prehypertension. Negative effects can be reduced with use of the combination of aerobics and resistance training. Many people have barriers which prevent this such as money, time, weather, nearby facilities, a sense of embarrassment, and lack of knowledge for home training which will prevent them for achieving the benefits.
Climbing stairs compared to high intensity resistance training offers the advantages of resistance and aerobic training to enhance cardiorespiratory fitness and leg muscle strength in postmenopausal women, which in many cases can be done at home without additional costs. Climbing stairs has other benefits such as enhanced lipid profiles which will help to decrease the risk of osteoporosis and increase fat loss.
This study involved Korean postmenopausal women participants, who all trained for 4 days each week climbing 192 stairs 2 to 5 times each day. The findings showed that climbing stairs was strongly associated with reductions in high blood pressure and improved leg strength and arterial stiffness among the stage 2 hypertensive postmenopausal women. Demonstrating that simple lifestyle changes and interventions can be effective in reducing or preventing the negative effects of menopause and age on the leg muscles and cardiovascular system of postmenopausal women with hypertension.
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