Is Climbing Stairs Better Than Walking?
Running on the treadmill or a morning walk may be among your favourite workouts, but try and incorporate some stair climbing into your routine too. This humble, do-it-anywhere workout can also help you lose weight and in some ways, is much more beneficial than just walking:
1) Increased Calorie Burn
Climbing up the stairs requires you to exercise more control on your body in order to maintain balance. Also, because you’re lifting your body weight against gravity to scale up the stairs, more energy is expended while climbing them versus when you’re walking on a straight plane. The difference can be upward of 150 calories burned in the same amount of time at the same pace.
2) Body Toning
While walking is a great activity for cardiac health, doing only cardio will lead to muscle loss. This eventually results in the slowing of your metabolism. But we want to boost our metabolism, don’t we? So, with gravity providing natural resistance, the act of having to lift your entire body weight up the stairs makes this workout a natural muscle builder, especially for the glutes, thighs and hamstrings.
3) Compound Exercises
Stair climbing, a workout without equipment, is a multi-joint compound exercise (makes use of multiple muscle groups). Everything from your glutes, calves and hamstrings to your core and back muscles are engaged while doing the activity. Compound exercises improve flexibility, stability, cardiac health, and burn more calories per hour than muscle isolation exercises.
4) Stair Climbing = Interval Training
The easiest way to make the most of your stair climbing workout is to walk both up, and down the stairs. This twist makes the exercise a form of interval training. So, your heart rate increases when you’re going up the stairs and stabilises when you’re running down.
5) Better For Women
Women lose bone density at a higher rate than men as they age. While walking is a great exercise to keep your joints and bones healthy, climbing the stairs can help take it to the next level, especially for post-menopausal women. This helps prevent bone related medical conditions too, such as osteoporosis.
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