All of us want to lose those ungainly pounds that seem to pile up with alarming rapidity- well, if you want to tone your body and also keep healthy and fit, there’s an easier way of doing it than hitting the gym. Hit the stairs instead and watch yourself transform into a newer, healthier, fitter and stronger you. Experts opine that just 30-60 minutes of stair climbing on at least four days a week will ensure that you get the most health benefits.
Let’s take a look at the possible benefits of climbing stairs
Strong lungs and a strong heart are the keys to good health and a simple exercise like stair climbing targets and strengthens both. You want to know how that happens- simple- when you head up and down the stairs, you breathe more deeply and use air sacs in your lungs more efficiently. This means more oxygen enters your lungs and cells and hence improves metabolic function and lung capacity. Your stamina levels increase and fatigue becomes a thing of the past- not to mention enhanced respiratory function and increased immunity.
Weight loss benefits
Fat burning and weight loss is always about burning calories; while walking and aerobic activities do that, there’s nothing like stair climbing to get the fires burning. When you climb the stairs, remember you are working against gravity and using the weight of your body to push your legs up the stairs. You have a cardio and weight training session rolled in one and it’s a great opportunity to burn calories at least three times faster.
Stair climbing help tones your legs and calves and is said to reduce cardio risk by more than 30 percent. Your improved cardiovascular system will pump out oxygen-enriched blood that helps fuel the lower body muscles. When the legs are continuously lifted against the natural resistance that your body offers, all the lower muscles- hamstrings, glutes, calves, quadriceps and hips get toned and strong.
Improves Energy Levels
Endorphins- the natural good feel hormones- that act as natural pain relievers and stress reducers are produced while climbing stairs. This in turn produces an overall feeling of well-being and increases energy levels. Such an exercise also tends to keep osteoporosis at bay and increases your bone-health.
Climbing stairs is easy as walking, you don’t require any special equipment or skills and you can work off the big slice of plum cake on which you gorged. Just 10 minutes of stair climbing every day is sure to keep you going strong on all fronts.
Always start off slow and just take a few flights at a time initially- at least till your body can take more. Wear on sensible shoes with good arch support and mix stair climbing with other aerobic exercise to keep those muscles and joints healthy and ticking.
While there is no gainsaying the fact that climbing stairs has many benefits, you need to check with your physician whether it’s okay for you. Heart and high blood pressure patients and those with knee or hip problems need to exercise greater care.
Don’t hit the gym- hit the stairs and see how your health bounces back.