If walking up and down stairs tires you, it’s no surprise, because stair climbing is a cardio exercise that can improve your fitness.
Fortunately, you don’t have to climb to the top of a skyscraper to break a sweat. Stair exercises can be done at the gym, park, or in your own home.
Climbing or stair climbing is a type of vertical exercise. As the name suggests, it involves climbing stairs (climbing, or running, if you’re more advanced). It can be some kind of daily activity, exercise or sport.
Tower running, for example, is an organized and competitive sport in which athletes climb the stairs of tall buildings, such as skyscrapers.
Stairs can be in a stairwell of a building, in your apartment building, outside at a local park or playground, or in a gym on a stair-climbing machine, which simulates climbing stairs.
The stair-climbing exercise can be strenuous, says a clinical assistant professor of applied exercise science and co-director of the Michigan Performance Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan’s College of Kinesiology.
When you climb the stairs, your heart and breathing rates will increase.
“Climbing stairs for exercise targets the cardiovascular and respiratory systems,” he says. It takes a lot of work to move your body mass vertically against gravity.
The way up the stairs
It also depends on how you do it. For example, if you are a leisurely stair climber or a slow walk, this low-intensity movement will do more of an aerobic endurance exercise.
On the other hand, stair jogging is an anaerobic exercise that targets muscle strength. Anaerobic exercise is when muscles use glucose for energy instead of oxygen.
In addition, going up and down stairs also significantly recruits your glutes, calf, hip flexors and ankle muscles.
Climbing the Stairs: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Is running up stairs a good exercise?
Yes, there are many health benefits of climbing stairs, including strengthening the heart and lungs and burning calories.
Is it heart disease?
Yes, climbing stairs is a cardiovascular exercise. The motion required to climb a vertical stair increases your heart rate and breathing, making stair climbing good for your cardiorespiratory system.
How many stairs do I have to take for a good workout?
The duration, speed, and number of stairs you’ll need to climb for a moderate or vigorous workout depends on your current fitness level. A good beginner workout can start with five minutes, gradually increasing the time or intensity as your fitness improves.
Can I lose weight by taking stairs?
Changing eating patterns (such as cutting calories) is the main driver of weight loss, but exercise supports these efforts by increasing the calories you burn during the day. Climbing stairs burns about 432 calories per hour. (Because of the stress, you’re not likely to climb the stairs for an entire hour.)
Is climbing stairs as good as walking?
Climbing stairs is different from walking. Climbing stairs is usually more difficult than walking on flat ground as you have to push your body vertically against gravity. Both forms of exercise can be incorporated into a weekly schedule.
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