Skip to Content

Skipping the Gym, Ladies? Try the Stairs

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21, 2018 -- Older women don't have to hit the gym to stay healthy, because a stair-climbing workout appears to do the trick, researchers report.

Finding the right type of exercise can be difficult for postmenopausal women, according to the North American Menopause Society. For example, high-intensity resistance training reduces age-related muscle loss, but can increase blood pressure.

Combining aerobic and resistance training can minimize this problem. But many women say they don't have the time, the money, access to a gym or decent weather for getting out.

"This study demonstrates how simple lifestyle interventions such as stair climbing can be effective in preventing or reducing the negative effects of menopause and age on the vascular system and leg muscles of postmenopausal women with hypertension," JoAnn Pinkerton, the menopause society's executive director, said in a society news release.

This doesn't mean climbing just one or two flights of stairs a day, however. The study included postmenopausal women in Korea who climbed 192 steps, two to five times a day, four days a week.

A typical house in the United States has 13 steps per story. So you'd need to climb more than 14 flights of stairs several times a day to gain the reported benefits.

According to the study, this exercise program improved artery health, lowered blood pressure, and increased leg strength.

Additional benefits included fat loss, improved cholesterol profiles, and reduced risk of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, the researchers said.

The results were published recently in the journal Menopause.

© 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 2018

Read this next

AHA News: Belly Fat May Signal Early Heart Issues for Mexican Americans

THURSDAY, Oct. 15, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Among Mexican Americans, too much abdominal fat predicts the beginning of a buildup of plaque in the arteries called...

Weight-Loss Surgery Lengthens Life Span, Study Shows

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2020 -- Obesity is tied to premature death, but researchers have found that weight-loss surgery can add a few years to your life. In a study involving more...

Losing Some TV Ads Might Reduce Childhood Obesity

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14, 2020 -- Limiting TV ads for sugary, salty and high-fat foods and drinks might help reduce childhood obesity, British researchers suggest. They looked at...