Whether you want to stay fit or lose weight, daily physical activity is of the utmost importance. Those who lead a sedentary life with minimum exercise are at an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases, among other health issues.
Exercising regularly is necessary, but a lot of people find choosing an activity and making time for it difficult.
Most types of exercises and sports require equipment, whether it’s getting a tennis racquet or running shoes. Of course, you could join a gym, but that would require dedication, motivation and also getting a good trainer.
And while all of these activities might not seem like your cup of tea, there’s one type of exercise which is highly beneficial and requires you to do very little – climbing stairs.
According to a study published in Sports in 2019, taking the stairs is an easily available type of physical activity which requires no special training or equipment.
The study also indicated that climbing stairs uses 8-10 times the energy requirements of the resting state, and should be used as a public health initiative worldwide.
When compared to running and walking, climbing stairs burns a lot more calories. It engages all the abdominal muscles, stimulates all the organs there, activates the spine and reduces the risk of knee, leg and ankle injuries.
What’s more, climbing stairs is something that can be done no matter what the season. The following are some of the benefits of climbing stairs every day:
It helps you lose weight
Climbing stairs for an hour is a very intense form of exercise and has immense aerobic benefits. You can lose about 0.17 calories while climbing up and 0.05 calories while climbing down a single step.
At this rate, if you climb stairs for at least half an hour every day, you are bound to burn enough calories and gradually lose weight. It’s important to note that the rate of burning calories is higher in stair climbing compared to other activities like walking or running.
It improves heart health
According to a study published in Preventive Medicine in 2000, stair climbing can increase the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol in your blood, and improve blood circulation in your body.
The study, therefore, recommends climbing stairs as it is a good way to improve heart health and keep heart diseases at bay.
It increases muscle strength
Stair climbing is a vertical exercise where you push down to lift your entire body up a stair. This type of exercise can increase the strength of the leg, thigh and hip muscles while also toning the abdominal muscles.
Climbing stairs can also help build muscle mass in the lower body.
It builds endurance
A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports in 2014 reveals that by improving neuromuscular and cardiorespiratory performance in the body, climbing stairs can improve gait, balance and endurance.
Apart from contributing to overall fitness, this activity also helps reduce the risk of falling and minimises strain in other daily activities.
It improves mental health
All types of exercises are known to help your body release more endorphins, which helps you feel good. Climbing stairs does the same and also helps regulate your sleep pattern better.
These, when combined with the building of strength and endurance and the added benefit of healthy weight loss, are bound to improve your self-esteem and confidence levels and make you feel happy too.
It’s very important to remember that while climbing stairs every day is feasible, affordable and involves no hassles to continue for a long time, you should ideally not do so while wearing heels or shoes that impair your balance.
Dress comfortable, wear sensible shoes, and then climb those stairs to make your way to better health.