Researchers have found that short, intense bursts of stair climbing at your home or office may have major benefits for heart health.
Investigators recruited 31 sedentary but otherwise healthy women and tested the effect of two different protocols, each of which required a 10-minute time commitment, including warm-up, cool down and recovery periods. The exercise sessions were conducted three times a week over the course of six weeks.
“Stair climbing is a form of exercise anyone can do in their own home, after work or during the lunch hour,” said Martin Gibala, professor at McMaster University in Canada. “This research takes interval training out of the lab and makes it accessible to everyone,” said Gibala.
“Interval training offers a convenient way to fit exercise into your life, rather than having to structure your life around exercise,” said Gibala.
Stair climbing is a unique form of exercise that can have a powerful and positive impact on your health over time. The movement of your legs and hips results in deeper breathing and increases your heartbeat, which enhances blood flow to all areas of your body. By raising our heart rate, stair climbing helps protect against high blood pressure, weight gain and clogged arteries. This lowers the risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, vascular dementia and even some cancers.
A stronger heart allows you to rapidly deliver the oxygen-enriched blood to your muscle fibers. As a result, you’ll feel better and everyday tasks won’t be so tiring.
The study was published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.