Did you know that regularly using stairs could save your life? Studies show that climbing only eight flights of stairs a day can improve your health and decrease your risk of early death by as much as a third party. So popular has this form of exercise become that you can even get free smartphone programs to count the number of steps you climb and document how many calories are burned off.
- Builds bone and muscle strength
Stair climbing is basically a more strenuous form of walking. Because you must pull against gravity, it demands greater effort, so you get more of a workout. The exercise is wonderful for your body, increasing your bone density, strength and muscle tone – so the odds of developing osteoporosis is considerably reduced.
- Helps your heart
By raising your heart rate, stair climbing helps prevent blocked arteries and high blood pressure. This boost to your cardiovascular system lowers the risk of succumbing to severe conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Aids weight loss
This astonishingly vigorous form of exercise actually burns more calories per minute than running. And the great thing is that the heavier you are, the more calories you will expend. Even once you go upstairs at a normal pace, you are going to use at least double the amount of energy than if you were walking on flat ground – so you may soon find your waistline shrinking in the event you use the stairs regularly.
- Relieves stress The regular exercise will raise your energy levels, making you generally feel much better about the world. Fits in with busy lifestyles
Unlike going to the gym, climbing stairs is convenient, flexible and flexible. You can start with just a couple of flights if you prefer, and increase slowly. Even if you’re a busy commuter, you can use staircases in public places like train stations, office buildings and multi-storey car parks. Of course, unless you live in a bungalow or ground-floor flat you will also have the ability to practise in the comfort of your own home.
You do not have to be a fresh-air fiend to enjoy climbing stairs. No particular skills, sporting training or ability is required – and you won’t need to talk about a sweaty changing room with strangers.
Because stair climbing is relatively easy to build into your life, you should be able to incorporate it into your routine without too many issues. Regular exercise can make a real difference to people’s long-term health, so finding an activity that you are able to sustain over the years will be invaluable for your exercise levels.
- Costs nothing
One of the greatest things about stair climbing is that it’s completely free. No sports club fees or gym membership, no equipment or special clothing to purchase… it’s just you, and as many steps as you can tackle.
So, which kinds of stairs are best for climbing? Any long flight of stairs provides the chance for a good workout, although some are better than others. Wooden stairs are more comfortable than metal or concrete ones as their treads provide more shock absorption, and carpeted staircases are better still. Curved stairs are just like straight ones for supplying exercise. Even loft stairs and space saver staircases have their uses, as long as you hold on to the handrail and don’t attempt to go too quickly. If you have to use an escalator, walk all the way up it. As the measures are deeper than those in an average staircase, it’ll still do you good.
Aim for between three and five stair-climbing sessions a week to get the most from your new regime. If you’re not used to exercise you should start gradually, perhaps just climbing for five or 10 minutes at first. You can work up to 30 minutes or an hour , if you feel confident.
Can anybody exercise this way?
People with knee or hip problems are not advised to climb stairs unnecessarily as the stepping action can aggravate their condition. This is especially true when going down, as the joints come under additional strain. Anyone concerned about their health should have a word with their doctor before going ahead.