Hey you, why don’t you climb stairs to lower blood pressure and strengthen leg muscles….
Yes it might seem like a no-brainer, but climbing stairs is good for you!
And it may have even more benefits for postmenopausal women who can sometimes face exercise barriers such as lack or time or money, availability of gym facilities or poor weather. And let’s face it; it can be downright embarrassing to don the Lyrca after an extended period (pardon the pun) without exercise!
Stair climbing offers all the benefits of aerobic and resistance training plus it’s a) free, b) available anywhere and c) can also be done in private.
A recent study looked at postmenopausal Korean women with high blood pressure who climbed 192 steps several times a day, for four days a week. That’s almost more thigh burn than we can bear thinking about, but the results showed reductions in arterial stiffness and blood pressure, plus an increase in leg strength.
While these results could potentially be found with other forms of exercise, weighing risk vs. benefits gets more complicated with age. High-intensity training for example can reduce age-related muscle loss, but also has the potential to increase blood pressure.
We say getting cracking on that staircase! It just goes to show exercise can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it.