Cardio is king when it comes to heart health. There are many different ways you can improve your heart, such as eating the best foods, drinking heart-healthy wine, and adding some cardiologist-approved exercises to your routine. your daily. While you might think the latter means going for a run or going to an aerobics class, there are easy at-home workouts that are equally ideal. Now you can add something else to the mix. A new study was published on Atherosclerosis revealed that climbing just over 50 stairs a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 20%.
You heard it right! So you might want to head to the stairs or your StairMaster for a few extra steps. Keep reading to find out more, and when you’re done, check out This Is the New ‘Magic Number’ for How Many Days You Need to Exercise to See Results, Research Says.
The study collected information from more than 458 thousand individuals, covering everything from stair climbing to socio-demographic information to lifestyle factors. Data were re-examined 5 years after baseline to evaluate the association between stair climbing and the risk of ASCVD (ischemic stroke (IS), coronary artery disease (CAD) or other acute complications).
To put it simply, cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). They are responsible for the deaths of 17.9 million people every year. This is why cardio can be a valuable addition to your lifestyle.
Follow-ups were performed approximately 12.5 years after the initial study and revealed that climbing five flights of stairs per day reduced the risk of ASCVD by more than 20%. For those more likely to develop heart disease, the study notes that climbing stairs “effectively offsets” the risk, according to the study’s corresponding author, Dr. Lu Qi, President and HCA Regents Distinguished Professor at Tulane University School of Public Health. and Tropical Medicine. In addition, compared to people who never took the stairs, those who started the habit of climbing stairs but did not keep up had a 32% higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
“Short bursts of high-intensity stair climbing are a time-saving way to improve cardiovascular health and lipid profiles, especially in people who cannot achieve activity recommendations,” Qi said. current physical condition”. Noting that stair climbing is a free and relatively accessible form of exercise, Qi added, “These findings highlight the potential benefits of stair climbing as a primary prevention measure for with ASCVD in the general population.”
Benefits of climbing stairs:
Eat this, not that! has reached out Alexandra L. Kharazi, MDcardiovascular surgeon, CVTS Medical, who explains, “Risk factor modification is the key to reducing the risk of heart disease. This means addressing the risk factors that lead to heart disease. The The main risk factors are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. Going up stairs is a form of exercise, as we have many studies showing that exercise regulates blood pressure, alters the balance between good and bad cholesterol, reduces plaque buildup and helps with weight control.”
Limitations of climbing stairs:
Of course, it’s important to note that there may be limitations for some individuals who cannot take those additional steps or stairs in general. There may be good reasons why some individuals in the study started and then stopped the process.
Dr. Bradley Serwerinterventional cardiologist and Chief Medical Officer of VitalSolution, told us: “The study doesn’t tell us why the incidence of cardiovascular disease was 32% higher in people who stopped climbing stairs, so we I have to speculate. If someone starts an exercise program, but then stops, this could be secondary to poor motivation, but could also be related to physical limitations. If If someone starts an exercise program but stops because of chest pain, that patient is at higher risk for underlying coronary artery disease. The study does not delve into cause and effect, only showing an association. generation”.
Essentially, this new study establishes a link between lower rates of cardiovascular disease and stair climbing. As with any research, there are many factors that must be considered. “[For instance,] those things [who] People who are in better shape and exercise regularly are more likely to take the stairs than people who are fit and therefore have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, Serwer explains. Healthy lifestyle choices are often grouped together. People who exercise regularly tend to have better diets and have lower rates of smoking.”
Also, as you get older, going up stairs can be a challenge. Cara Dobbertin, PT, DPTtell Eat this, not that!“Navigating stairs can be difficult as we age, largely due to changes in our balance and coordination. One wrong step can lead to serious injury.”
Before you start climbing stairs to gain heart-related benefits, you should consult your doctor or medical professional. They will be able to tell you whether this is the ideal exercise for you and how many stairs or flights you should take each day to make your heart healthier. But it can definitely be a great addition to your weekly workout regimen.
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