When it comes to losing weight and staying fit, you might think of intense activities. However, the reality is that, what is one activity that you tend to avoid, as there are easier and more convenient options available? The answer is taking the stairs, as you can always use the elevator or escalator in the building. Due to the fact that humans are now living a sedentary lifestyle, it has become crucial to be active.
While going to a gym has many benefits, you can certainly get your dose of high intensity workout free of cost, and all you will need is a flight of stairs in your premises.
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Benefits of climbing stairs
There are several reasons why doctors and healthcare professionals all over India recommend climbing stairs for weight loss. It is a great workout which improves your cardiovascular fitness as well as builds thigh and core body strength. Given below are some benefits that can be achieved by climbing stairs:
Strengthens core muscles
When you are climbing stairs, you need to make sure to maintain your balance at all times. At the same time, you have to focus on using your legs properly. The benefits of stair climbing is that you work out your core muscles. When your core muscles are stronger, the risk of suffering from injuries reduces largely. It also brings down the chances of getting lower back pain as it improves your posture.
Stronger calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps
The calves are the muscles you use for jumping, walking, and running. You also use these muscles to maintain your balance when you stand. The benefits of climbing stairs are that these muscles have to contract when you take a step. As you continue this activity, it gives your calves an excellent workout.
The job of the glutes is to move your thighs and hips, which becomes stronger when you make it a habit to climb stairs. Your hamstrings are essential for sitting down, running, and walking, as it helps bend your knees. Similarly, the quadriceps femoris muscles help you to stand up after sitting, running, and walking. In other words, they help extend the knee, allowing you to perform these types of activities.
Improves lung and heart health
One of the benefits of climbing stairs is that it is an excellent activity for your lungs and heart. The reason is that this exercise falls under the aerobic fitness category. As it makes your lungs stronger, you can breathe in greater amounts of oxygen. At the same time, it enhances the health of your heart, and helps in pumping large volumes of blood. Due to the increase in oxygen through your lungs, your organs and muscles perform efficiently.
Makes bones healthy
Another reason why you should indulge in this activity is because of the positive impact it has on your bones. Therefore, it brings down the risk of suffering from osteoporosis. This activity increases the mass of bones, which is better for your body as you grow older.
Calories burned climbing stairs
The question on your mind is how many calories get burned while climbing stairs? When you climb a flight of stairs, you will burn around two to five calories. On average, if you cover seven flights of stairs, the number of calories you lose is 83.
If you climb stairs for 30 minutes, you should burn about 235 calories. The factors which determine how many calories you lose are the workout intensity and your body weight. Also, when you climb faster, the number of calories you burn increases.
Climbing stairs for weight loss
You can use this exercise for weight loss, as long as you stick to the instructions in this guide. The first thing you should keep in mind is that the more time you spend in this activity, the greater the number of calories you burn. If you push yourself hard by increasing the intensity, you will notice similar effects.
When you are new to this type of exercise, you shouldn’t push your body to its limits. The reason is that it increases the chances of suffering from burnout or an injury. Start off with stair climbing exercise for 5-7 minutes for at least three days every week. If you feel this is challenging, you can bring down the duration of the exercise to 3-5 minutes.
Once you are comfortable with this intensity, you can gradually increase the duration. The goal is to do at least 20-30 minutes of stair climbing for three to four days every week.
5 Exercises that can be done while climbing stairs
You can enhance the benefits of stair climbing by incorporating the exercises highlighted below with this physical activity:
1. Skater steps
For this stair climbing exercise, you need to look at the flight of stairs. Keep your right foot close to the corner of the second step. Next, with your left leg, place it on the other side of the fourth step.
Follow this all the way till you climb a flight of stairs. Going down the way you came will count as one set. You need to complete at least 2 sets for this exercise to be effective. To increase the number of calories you burn, you should swing both your arms.
2. Stair lunge
Another stair climbing exercise that works well is the stair lunge. While your back faces the flight of stairs, you should move your right leg back, until it is on a step. As you inhale, start to bend your knees. Make sure your knees don’t go as low as your toes. When you exhale, you should get up and return to the original position. Do at least ten reps on both legs, to experience the benefits of stair lunges.
3. Stair push-up
For this stair climbing exercise, you need to place your arms on a step. Make sure you extend your body until it enters the plank position. If you feel your core muscles, you are in the right pose. As you inhale, you should start to lower your body until your chest almost touches the stairs.
The next step is to exhale and bring your body back to its original position. Make sure your hands and shoulders are in the same line. Also, do not let your hips drop, nor change the position of the back and neck.
4. Step up
Make sure you look at the flight of stairs while keeping your feet at the distance of your shoulders. As you tighten the core, place the right foot on the step. Make sure you keep the back straight at all times for this stair climbing exercise.
Keep your weight on the right foot, before breathing out and placing your left foot on the same step. Breathe in and keep your right foot to the previous location. Do the same thing with your left foot. You should do this at least ten times (both legs) to experience the benefits of step ups.
5. Varied pace step climbing
If you are looking for a slightly less intense stair climbing exercise with varied pace, step climbing is the way to go. Not only is it less intense , but you can also use it as a warm-up.
You should start with running up a flight of stairs while looking straight and keeping your shoulders back. When you are on top of the stairs, you should pause and walk down the stairs slowly. This counts as a single set, and you must complete at least 3-5 sets, for it to be effective.
If you are looking for an exercise which helps you burn a good number of calories, stair climbing is the activity for you. It provides several health benefits, such as improvement in bone, heart, and lung health. Your core muscles and lower body muscles become stronger. Incorporate this exercise into your list of exercises, so that you can lead a healthy life!