Stair climbing exercise: Why it should be your new fitness muse
You’ve been hearing that, “There’s no shortcut to success” since time immemorial. And so fitness campaigns of all times have been listing out their No.1 switch to healthy life as the one from “elevators to to stair climbing”. And with the least sophistication & gear involved in this activity, it DOES look like a very simple switch.
Well, it’s easy, but is really the OPPOSITE of what seems like being ‘EFFORTLESS’.
Stair climbing hasn’t been easy for many of us. All the huff & puff you dread when the lift is out of order or under maintenance is enough proof. Isn’t it? I remember when a neighborhood aunt was making her ‘chubby’ tween son shunt up & down the stairs, I was all sympathy for him. The number of his exhausted utterances of “Please, Mom…” used to break my heart then. He was a cute little lad who always ate normal food, but was still a bit heavy for his age. Lack of exercise wanted to show up a bit. *FAST FORWARD TO 14 YEARS* He’s a fitness-driven doctor already!
I guess, some old-school solutions never run out of effectiveness. And to be very honest, though I’ve been a fitness buff over the past 4 years, I never found stair climbing that easy-peasy. Not after 3 sets of stairs, at least. I did lose weight to get to a BMI of 23. But I always had to pant for breath while carrying a little grocery upstairs. A couple of these stair climbing trips also gave me cramps that lasted for at least half a day.
Nevertheless, from the past 2.5 months, I’ve taken to an unusual love for stair climbing. That happened when in the park, I saw a guy step-exercising extremely rigorously, while I was making my rounds brisk walking. So I decided to pump myself up again after exiting the park & getting home. And instead of climbing the stairs at a slug’s pace after the morning walk, I ran up the stairs &, Voila! It gave me another adrenaline rush which made it a perfect ending to the day’s fitness dose.
And ever since, stair climbing has become a part of my workout routine. Not been very long though; it feels great as I’ve noticed these rocking results:
- I’ve got more toned legs : I have lost almost all the jiggly-ness in my legs that I had before. That also shows with a loss of 2 inches from each leg.
- It has increased my endurance: I don’t end up panting after a great deal of stair sets now.
- I feel more energized for the rest of the day! 🙂
I, therefore, recommend you to add stair climbing to your regular exercise routine for the above results that I saw for myself.
Stair Climbing Vs Brisk Walking
Now, even though both of these are fantastic Aerobic & Cardio exercises, there are a couple of subtle differences which bring out different results too.
During a brisk walk, we feel more pressure on our feet as compared to the entire length of the legs. While walking on a hard surface, we tend to ‘feel’ the intensity only up till the calves, but not the thighs otherwise. That’s probably because walking doesn’t involve bending the knees along significant angles unlike stair climbing. What happens in the latter is with the repeated bending & straightening actions of the legs together, there’s an outstanding amount of pressure exerted on the thigh (glutes) muscles as well. Hence, toning takes place much better with stair climbing than with walking.
Stair Climbing W.R.T. Strength-Training
Whenever there’s a LIFTING action taking place, like that in a plank or particular Yoga Asanas, we tend to hit the strength-training mode. That’s pretty much because, we ‘lift’ our own body weight using our body as the exercise equipment. So, when this happens, we increase our body strength & endurance apart from enhancing our blood circulation.
Stair climbing, on that account, is a phenomenal strength-training exercise.
Stair Climbing W.R.T Calorie-burning
A fantastic cardio workout that stair climbing is, it greatly helps you burn calories, rather unwanted fat from the body. Having said that, it has to be the CHEAPEST & readily-available exercise equipment you need to have.
Oh come on! You don’t need to have a mansion with a stair-well looking like this! (Only if you’re looking for excuses).
is more than ENOUGH!
Oh, by the way, here are a few precautions that you may want to consider seriously:
- Always begin with a warm up before stair climbing running. For example, a few jumping jacks on the normal flat floor OR walking normally up & down the stairs until you feel you’re ready for stair running.
- If you’re a heart patient, or suffer from high blood pressure, please DO NOT do this without your doctor’s advice/permission.
- If you suffer from joint pain or knee troubles, please do NOT do this.
- NEVER RUN DOWNSTAIRS! You obviously don’t want to risk grave injuries, right?
Let me know your thoughts & experiences about stair climbing in the comments. 🙂
Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018 #writebravely