First evidence is in now that stepping down is a better exercise that stepping up. “Concentric muscle work is defined as the active shortening of muscles, e.g. by stepping upwards, whereas eccentric muscle work is defined as active resistance to stretching, e.g. by stepping downwards.” Attendees at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2004 heard the interesting news that eccentric muscle work is better.
Formerly sedentary patients were divided into two groups–one hiked downhill and the other hiked uphill. The result was that glucose tolerance improved significantly more in those who hiked downhill–and I bet it works better to reduce that heavy middle we were just talking about.
This is a pretty exciting discovery, if you ask me. Device makers need to get busy now designing a step-down machine. The increasingly huge number of diabetics in the world will be mighty glad to hear this.
And think of it: Finally those ski-resorts have something to do with their properties all year!! Patients take the lift up and walk down. Heart patients will love this, too.