Ever noticed that if you climb a lot of stairs (and you're not used to it) you get short of breath quickly, your legs start hurting and your bum, well your bum is suddenly reminded that it has muscles? There is a reason. The shortness of breath and the hurting muscles is a dead giveaway as to the outstanding benefits climbing stairs gives you. It's like a cardio and weights session rolled into one - hey, I'm all up for efficiency in a workout! Let's break it down further:
Stair climbing for exercise get results. Why? Here's five good reasons:
1. Tones - Stair climbing is an amazing lower body workout and targets all those trouble spots; that's bums, tums, thighs and hips. Yep, ladies this is one exercise that can turn your booty into bootylicious. Using the rail to assist in pulling yourself up will also engage the arms and give them a work out too!
2. Bones - Because you are working against gravity, stair climbing is a weight baring exercise, and like all exercises in this category, it improve bone density helping stave off age-related bone conditions such as osteoperosis.
3. Weight - I'm stating the obvious here. Losing weight usually happens when people begin exercising regularly but what you may not know is that climbing stairs burns more calories per minute than walking and taking 10 stairs is the equivalent calorie burn of 38 steps on level ground. Plus, the more weight you carry the more calories you'll burn. Take for example this: If you weigh 68kg, you'll burn roughly 300kj in 10 minutes, but a person weighing 81kg will burn 360j in that same time.
4. Strength and power - How quickly climbing stairs can get you huffing and puffing and those legs burning! That's because the motion of stair climbing targets the same muscles as squats and lunges and, as you power up the stairs, it taxes your heart and lungs. You breath faster to get more oxygen. This improves your VO2 max - the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilise during intense exercise. Regular stair climbing will see you able to increase your duration and intensity of future workouts. If you're looking to improve your run time for example, perhaps stair training is worth a go.
5. Metabolism - Any activity that increases your heart rate will raise your metabolism during and even after your workout, and research suggests that even short bursts of high intensity exercise is beneficial...a good reason to take the stairs and not the lift.
So now you know. Climbing stairs is a great exercise for a host of reasons that will contribute to you losing weight, building strength and getting fitter - what's not to love?
Auckland's Eden Park stadium is now hosting New Zealand's largest stair climbing event, Stadium Stomp Eden Park. It's for all fitness levels, it's untimed and there's plenty of seats available if you need a rest mid way through. Check it out, it may be just the thing you need to get your started on your stair climbing mission! Click here to read more about Stadium Stomp Eden Park.
Please note: Pre-existing medical conditions or injuries may mean this high intensity workout (yes, stair climbing is classified as high intensity) is not an exercise for you. If unsure seek advice from your health or medical practitioner.