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Lower Blood Pressure Is Just a Staircase Away, Study Suggests

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If you're trying to lower your blood pressure, you've probably heard lots of suggestions to try aerobic and resistance training classes. As helpful as these types of exercises might be, they can also be super expensive and time-consuming. But a new study found that you might not need to shell out cash or sacrifice the few minutes you have to yourself to get similar benefits.

The February 2018 findings, published in <a target="blank" href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323157914_The_effects_of_stair_climbing_on_arterial_stiffness_blood_pressure_and_leg_strength_in_postmenopausal_women_with_stage_2_hypertension">Menopause_, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), found that the simple movement of climbing the stairs helped Korean postmenopausal women lower their blood pressure. In the study, these women trained four days a week, climbing 192 steps two to five times a day and saw a decrease in both their blood pressure and the stiffness in their arteries. For postmenopausal women with hypertension, stair climbing also boasts the big bonus of building leg strength — which can be especially helpful for women with estrogen deficiencies, who are at risk of experiencing muscle problems.

As some of us may know already, exercise after menopause can come with some complicated challenges — especially when it comes to picking a workout that doesn't cause us more problems later on. For instance, high-intensity resistance training can be helpful for reducing loss of muscle strength for some postmenopausal women. However, those of us who have higher blood pressure may actually increase our hypertension by pursuing that type of workout routine. While a combination of aerobic and resistance training can help combat negative effects, these types of classes are not easily accessible for everyone.

Enter stair climbing: It offers similar benefits and doesn't have to involve carving out time in your schedule or paying a fee. Heck, you don't even have to leave your house to do it. We couldn't ask for a much better deal than that!

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