Stairs are very effective. Researchers from the University of Birmingham in England recently discovered that climbing a flight of stairs for about 7 minutes a day lowers heart risk by 60 percent. Another reason I love stairs is because they are cheap; actually they will not cost you a dime. Borrow a tactic from some of the world's best athletes who for ages have been performing stadium bleacher runs to get in incredibly great shape.
Thanks to modern architecture, we have stairs all around us, most likely, you have a flight in your home. I'm certain that you come across a flight of stairs at least half a dozen times in a day. Imagine having six different opportunities to strengthen your heart and lower your cholesterol during your normal day to day routine? Stairs are a great way to workout - a low impact exercise that can be done regardless of the weather outside and using them is an exceptionally great way to improve your heart health and fitness. You will get a great aerobic workout, lose weight, tone and strengthen the muscles all around your thighs, buttocks and calves.
To get the most benefit out of them, you have to use them religiously. Learn to love taking the stairs and opt for them instead of the elevator. My idea is to get you salivating every time you see a flight and say to yourself "Yippee! A flight of stairs" Avoid making excuses, even if you are in a hurry or just plain tired, take the stairs.
For example if you work or have an appointment on the 30th floor, get off at the 25th floor or lower and walk up. In malls and shopping centers, ditch the escalator and elevator for the stairs. Scientists found that previously sedentary women who started taking the stairs for 2 ½ minutes every day at a "brisk but comfortable" pace for 7 weeks were measurably more fit with better heart rates, blood pressure and increased levels of HDL (good cholesterol), compared to those that were not active.
I have found that most people who are overweight and don't want to go walking, jogging or biking, find that taking the stairs is very manageable. Unlike other aerobic activities that requires a significant time investment, using the stairs to improve your heart health and fitness can deliver the biggest bang for the buck because all you really need is about 10 minutes per day. Start taking the stairs today and do it religiously.
Move Your Body, Move Your Life
Published On: February 17, 2008