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Fitness & Nutrition

Five Good Reasons to Take the Stairs

By on 01/15/2020

Climb stairs instead of taking the elevator and reap these health benefits.

One good way to add extra steps to your day and improve your fitness level is to take the stairs when possible instead of an elevator or escalator. Stair-climbing is a great way to fit in a few minutes of activity during the workday or at home (assuming you have a set of stairs available). Adding even small amounts of extra activity to your day can add up to big fitness rewards.

Here are five good reasons to take the stairs:

  1. Stair climbing is good for your heart. Taking the stairs gets your heart pumping. This can help protect you against high blood pressure and may lower the risk of weight gain, diabetes and conditions that increase heart disease risk. One study showed that seven minutes of daily stair climbing cut heart attack risk in half over 10 years.
  2. Stair climbing improves muscle strength, bone density and joint flexibility. When you climb stairs, you use muscles in your legs, abs, back and arms. And since taking the stairs requires movement in joints like your hips and knees, it helps increase flexibility. A weight-bearing activity, stair climbing can also strengthen your bones. This is especially important for women, who are more prone to osteoporosis.
  3. Stair climbing burns more calories than jogging. You can burn five to 11 calories a minute climbing stairs. This may not seem like much but it adds up to some major calorie burning over time, which can help you lose or maintain weight. Stair climbing uses about seven times more energy than taking the elevator.
  4. Stair climbing is a great stress reliever. Having a tough day at work? Release some of your stress by strutting up or down the stairs. It’ll give you a chance to air out and the physical activity will help you relax. You may also find the activity makes you more energized and alert.
  5. Stair climbing is convenient. You’ll find stairs in many places – at home, at work and at the mall to name a few. So you can get in a few minutes of stair climbing wherever you are. There’s no reason to join a gym, buy special equipment or even change your clothes. Just find the nearest set of stairs and off you go!

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Date Last Reviewed: November 6, 2019

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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