Diabetes type 2 risk has been shown to be reduced by as much as 30 percent by stair climbing, research has found. Originally seen as just a means of getting from A to B, stair climbing was never classified as a legitimate form of exercise, but for office workers and stressed out city-dwellers with no time to go the gym, stair climbing is fast becoming the hot new trend in fitness and reducing type 2 diabetes symptoms. People with diabetes are encouraged to exercise regularly for better blood sugar control and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The reason for this is that muscles which are working use more glucose than those that are resting.
Walking upstairs is one of the best-kept secrets in preventive medicine
Doctor Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard medical school
Benefits of stair climbing
- Stair climbing burns more calories per minute than jogging
Consumers save an average of £600 per year on costly gym memberships
Climbing the stairs once an hour can reduce high blood pressure by 50 per cent
Climbing the stairs once an hour can reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 30 per cent
Climbing the stairs once an hour can reduce the risk of stroke by 27 per cent
Climbing the stairs once an hour can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 25 per cent
Climbing eight flights of stairs per day reduces the risk of early mortality by 33 per cent
Doctor Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School said: “Not only does it burn more calories than jogging, it also saves active participants an average of £600 a year on costly gym memberships and has been linked to many other health benefits.
“Walking upstairs is one of the best-kept secrets in preventive medicine.”
In a 2016 study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, 16 older people with type 2 diabetes did three minutes of stair climbing one and two hours a day.
Their blood sugar was significantly reduced after stair climbing, compared to when they just rested.
A study in Japan at Toyota Hospital Hidaka Medical Centre, observed if merely walking up and down a flight of stairs within two hours of eating a meal could lower blood sugar levels in people with insulin resistance.
Scientists assessed 16 adults with type 2 diabetes, all of whom were free of microvascular complications and reported not regularly climbing stairs each day.
The participants were randomly assigned to two different sessions, with a gap of one to two weeks in between.
The first sessions, participants ate a test meal for breakfast, followed by an overnight fast and rested for 180 minutes except when performing a three-minute stair exercise sessions 60 minutes after the meal.
The second session involved participants consuming breakfast as normal but then rested without interruption for the whole 180 minutes. The researchers monitored blood glucose levels and several other health markers during the study and compared them to blood samples after the meal.
The exercising group experience lower blood glucose levels and in particular, were significantly lower than during the rest session.
To duplicate the study, its advised to set aside five to ten minutes within 90 minutes of eating and simply walk up and down the stairs.
If the staircase you’re using has just 10 steps, do 20 to 24 sets. If balance is an issue, make sure to hold on to the railing and walk at a pace that is challenging but not too strenuous.
Stair climbing after a meal will burn calories, protect the cardiovascular health, reduce blood sugar levels and will improve a person’s overall well-being.
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