For Better Workouts, Head for the Hills
Science News1 reported on a study by the American Heart Association that shows hiking in the mountains is good for you. Experiments on people hiking in the Austrian Alps showed that going uphill, the body improves the processing of fats called triglycerides, and walking downhill improves the processing of glucose sugar. 45 volunteers who were “healthy but generally inactive” took part in the study by hiking up a 30-degree slope in Austria 3 to 5 hours per week and riding the cable car down. After two months, they switched and rode up and walked down. Each hike was preceded by intake of fats and glucose, and after each hike their blood level concentrations of the substances were measured.
1Ben Harder, “Up and down make different workouts,” Science News, Week of Dec. 11, 2004; Vol. 166, No. 24, p. 380.