Stair climbing lowers blood pressure and builds leg strength in postmenopausal women

If you don’t have the time or money for aerobic and resistance training, why not try climbing the stairs? A new study demonstrates that stair climbing not only lowers blood pressure but also builds leg strength, especially in postmenopausal women with estrogen deficiencies who are more susceptible to vascular and muscle problems. The study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Few people would argue that exercise is good for you. But 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.

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