Given the choice to take either the staircase or escalator, one would more often than not, choose the escalator. Little did we know, climbing the staircase burns more calories per minute than jogging! Stair climbing is a unique form of exercise that can have a powerful and positive impact on our health over time. Scientific evidence shows that stair climbing is one of the daily activities that is closely associated with improved health.
Stair climbing does not require any special skills or training, and it kills two birds with one stone. This activity is unobtrusive to our daily regime and we can simply use facilities around us to our advantage and there is no need to get dressed in a full sports attire for this exercise.
● Climbing just eight flights of stairs a day lowers average early mortality risk by 33%
● Seven minutes of stair climbing a day can halve the risk of heart attack over 10 years
● Just two minutes of extra stair climbing a day is enough to stop average middle age weight
Research has shown that cardiovascular health can be improved with just climbing stairs and it is a practice advocated by doctors and health authorities. By raising our heart rate, stair climbing helps protect against high blood pressure and weight gain. Additionally, it exercises our bones and muscles, thereby improving strength, bone density and muscle tone and this is especially essential those in sedentary office jobs.
Incidental physical activities like stair climbing are also associated with improved mental health. They cause our bodies to release endorphin. It also provides us time to think and reflect key factors in managing everyday stress and tensions.
Building it into your Life, Step by Step
Of course, we won’t be able to see any tremendous improvements overnight. Only exercise routines that we sustain over time can make a significant difference to our long term well being. However, stair climbing is such a powerful exercise, most people start to feel stronger within a week! It is easy to assimilate this activity into our lives since staircases are everywhere! Definitely a habit worth adopting.
As Dr Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, puts it:
“Walking up stairs is one of the best kept secrets in preventive medicine”.
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