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STAIR climbing – One of the best exercisesAugust 5, 2016 | Health

By Luke Coutinho | Source Credit: GOQii

You can run a 5k but running up a couple of flights of stairs tires you out?  You can squat heavy and lunge with weights, yet walking up a couple of flights of steps makes it feel like a whole other workout?

Here’s a workout that can actually challenge your body, endurance and actual strength and stamina.

Climbing stairs is one of the best exercises when it comes to pure FAT BURN, strengthening the lower body, toning the butt, thighs, calves, losing inches from those love handles and belly and building great abs. Along with these benefits is the immense good it does for your lungs and cardio vascular system.

  1. It is totally free and just about all of us can get access to a set of stairs.
  2. It leverages gravity and the heavier we are, the harder we’re forced to work and the more calories we burn.
  3. It is a relatively intense exercise that quickly increases our heart rate and in doing so can greatly improve our cardiovascular fitness.
  4. It helps strengthen and shape our most common problem areas like calves, thighs, buttocks and tummy.
  5. It is a very efficient way of burning maximum calories and is great for those of us with limited time to exercise.
  6. It can easily be mixed with other exercises, like walking, skipping and weight training, to maximize results and stair-climbing workouts are easy to build progression into.
  7. It can be done by almost anyone, regardless of fitness level.
  8. Because it is weight bearing, it helps build bone strength.
  9. It is low impact and safe for the knees (providing correct technique is used and a preexisting condition doesn’t exist).

The way forward with exercise is quality over quantity. Too many people fix a ‘ one hour’ work out in their mind and if they can’t find time for that’ 1 hour’  they just don’t do it.

Aim for power workouts, 25 to 30 minutes max, where you max out your reps, burn those muscles and really get your heart rate up. 35 to 40 minutes should include a great warm up and an extremely important cool down.

You can burn more calories walking/running up steps in 30 minutes than a 1 hour run or walk, plus it challenges your body.

Start off with a couple of flights, Walk and run slowly. As you get better, run and then skip 2 steps at a time and run or walk.

In a nutshell –

Burns more calories:
Stair climbing engages your body’s largest muscle groups to repeatedly lift your body weight up, step after step.
Thus using your muscles to carry your own weight is far higher to running as compared.

Maximizes your cardio efforts:
It also raises your heart rate immediately thus maximizing your cardio benefits.

Increases core muscle strength:
Climbing stairs is a great way to amp your core muscle strength.

Tones and sculpts your body:
It also engages every major muscle in your lower body - glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, abs and calves to exercise and thus tones your body better.

Low impact workout:
You don’t have to ideally sweat it out while climbing stairs. Just a few stairs every day will give you a good workout.

Safety first:  Never run down the stairs, be confident while running up, and take a break when needed.

Start doing this regularly and soon, you will be running up flights of stairs, feeling fitter, younger, stronger and leaner.

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