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[B]Walking Downhill Gives Surprising Benefits[/B]

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Walking Downhill Gives Surprising Benefits



Lowers Blood Sugar

Researchers have found that hills are good both ways. Uphill gives you a cardiovascular workout and lowers triglycerides, but downhill has now proven superior for lowering blood sugar levels. Do either to reduce LDL cholesterol. Dr. Heinz Drexel reported his findings to the American Heart Association in November, 2004.


Downhill or Downstairs May be a Good Start

Dr. Drexel says that those who find walking uphill difficult can get many benefits by beginning with downhill walking. His study took 45 healthy but sedentary people and had them hike either up or down a steep mountain in the Austrian alps each day for two months, then switch for another two months.


He checked their blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides 36 hours after each hike. He didn't expect to see as much benefit from those walking downhill, but they showed a lowering of blood sugar levels not seen in those hiking only uphill. Lower blood sugar may reduce the risk of Type II diabetes.

Downhill vs. Uphill

Downhill walking uses eccentric muscle contraction. It also can place strain on the knees and be difficult for those with knee problems or iliotibial band friction syndrome.


Uphill walking uses concentric muscle contraction and raises the heart rate more than walking dowhill or on the level. The huffing and puffing and sweating from a raised heart rate is an exercise deterrent for some people.



Hills for Flatlanders

While fewer of us live in the Alps, most people have access to stairs which are as steep as any hillside. If you hate going up, you can still get good health benefits by taking the stairs down and the elevator up.

Treadmill Hills

Many treadmills adjust to simulate hills, but generally only for uphill, not downhill. If you only





Sorry, it's at About, whichj has more pop-ups and irritants than most



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