Step It Up! Elevate Your Fitness By Taking the Stairs

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step it up

step it upGoing up? Walk right past the elevator and head for the stairs. Stair climbing is a great way to get your heart pumping without ever setting foot on a treadmill or in the gym. Just a short 10-minute climb three times a day and your fitness level will be … elevated.

Did you know stair climbing burns more calories than a traditional walk and increases your chances of weight loss? The continuous movement of your legs and hips going up stairs results in heavy breathing and increases your heart rate, which provides increased blood flow throughout your entire body. Natural endorphins are also released during moderate activity like stair climbing, which contribute to an increase in energy and an overall feeling of well-being.

A stair workout provides a great challenge, since stair activity is said to be twice as difficult as walking on a steep incline. Another great benefit to taking the stairs? You’ll engage your glutes, hamstrings, quads and core more intensely then you would when walking on flat ground. So next time you are going up, you might want to rethink taking the elevator.

Ready to give it a try? Here’s a 15-minute stair workout. All that’s required is a staircase with about 15 steps, a good pair of supportive and well-fitting shoes and your own determination.

15 minute Stair Workout

Step 1: Pacing

To get your blood flowing and warm up your muscles, start by slowly climbing the stairs, keeping your shoulders back and looking straight ahead. Repeat this five or six times, going up and down the stairs.

Step 2: Warming Up

Next, run up the stairs, then walk down. On the descent, make sure to put most of your weight on your heels and not your knees. Repeat eight times.

Step 3: Reverse Lunges

Face the stairs with your left foot on the second step and your right foot behind you on the floor. Lift your right knee to your chest, then quickly back down. Repeat this 12 times. Now have your right foot on the second step and your left foot behind you on the ground and lift your left knee to your chest and quickly back down. Repeat this 12 times. Do three sets on each leg.

Step 4: Tricep Dips

Sit on the edge of the second or third step with your arms at your side. Pressing your hands down on the step, lift your glutes off the step and extend your legs and heels on the floor. Slowly lower yourself by bending your arms at 90 degrees. Press back up to the starting position. Repeat this 10 times.

Step 5: Mountain Climbers

Facing the stairs, place your hands on the second step with your arms pressed into your sides almost like a pushup position. Keep your core engaged. Working at your own pace, bring your left knee to your left shoulder, then return the left foot back to the floor. Alternate legs bringing your right knee to your right shoulder, then returning your foot to the floor. Repeat 12 times each side.

Looking for more workout tips? Visit the Exercise & Activity page on BestMEDICINE!

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