If you’ve ever opted for an elevator after an intense workout, you aren’t alone; many athletes are just ready for a break after exhausting exercise, and anyway, who likes climbing the stairs?
However, when you opt out of using the stairs, you might be missing out on some major health and fitness benefits. Whether you incorporate stair climbing into a formal exercise routine or simply opt for more stair-travel throughout the day, your heart and health will thank you.
- Cardiovascular Fitness: Heart health is the name of the game, whether your goal is
increasing job and athletic performance, getting ripped, or just increasing your overall
well-being. Stair climbing increases your heart rate almost immediately, putting your
body in “aerobic exercise” mode and thus exercising the most important muscle in your
- Endurance: As an aerobic exercise, stair climbing increases your ability to engage in
physical activity for longer. Likewise, the nature of stair climbing is cyclical in that weight-
bearing is rotated across muscles. This subtle pattern of engaging and releasing
muscles primes them to be more easily engaged or released in other situations.
Repetitive motions, like stair climbing, can increase muscle-specific endurance in
addition to overall aerobic endurance.
- Strength Training: When you engage in stair climbing, you are leveraging the natural
weight of your body, requiring your muscles to bear more of a load than when you are
just walking. This can increase muscle and tone in your hips, glutes, and down your
legs. Working and strengthening multiple muscles at once can be especially beneficial in
retaining a good ratio of muscle strength across the body, which increases functionality
and decreases the likelihood of risk or injury when compared to strengthening a single
- Increased Bone Density: Weight bearing isn’t just good for your muscles; it can help
make your bones stronger, too. Stair climbing allows your muscles to bear increasingly
heavier loads, which can help prevent injury as well as prevent diseases such as
- Coordination and Balance: When you climb stairs, your center of gravity is constantly
shifting, along with what muscles are being engaged. This means that your body is
constantly making adjustments to changes in direction and pull, and that your muscles
need to “communicate” effectively with each other. While stair climbing is relatively
simple, the coordination it requires is repetitive and broad in scale, making it an easy
and mindless way to increase balance and coordination on a daily basis.
Stair climbing can be easily incorporated into your daily routine simply by opting to use stairs
instead of elevators. They can also be strong additions to your work-out regimen.
For more intense stair climbing, as with extended exertion on a stair-climbing apparatus, workout supplements such as Creatine Pure Monohydrate, Nitric Oxide (or vascular pump) boosters and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs, particularly post workout BCAAs) can aid in overall aerobic performance, vascular fitness, and recovery.