Did you know, that stair climbing happens to be one of the best-kept secrets in preventive medicine?
If you care to remember, back in our school days, our running coaches would ask us to charge up flights of steps in the hockey stadium.. and this would get us into shape for competitive athletics as well as other sports.
Well since cardio on the stairs are actually more taxing than other forms of cardio, only the younger (or should I say, fitter folks) should run at top speed up the stairs. If you have not done it before, or you are just returning to activity from an injury, then charging up long flights of stairs may not be such a good idea. However , even at a slow, steady pace, stairs can be a health alternative to folks seeking to protect themselves against heart disease. Begin modestly with a flight or two, and then add more as you improve. Try looking for an outdoor spot to do this, with a good steady set of steps that are well built and at an even depth of interval (we found this on Bukit Kledang, Menglembu, believe it or not! This location is very versatile as it has several long off road tracks, as well as these incredibly well made steps that just go on forever!)
Even at a slow pace, you’ll burn calories two to three times faster climbing stairs than walking briskly on the level. Stair climbing differs from stair stepping in that it is performed on actual stairs instead of a machine, and it uses your whole body weight instead of lightening the load with hydraulics.
Stair Climbing will help you with :
It will get your heart pumping as your body uses oxygen. It’s a weight-bearing exercise, so it burns more calories than cycling or swimming at a comparable pace because you have to lift your entire body from one step to the next with every single step.
Each step works your quads and glutes, but you can make it more intense by slowing down and taking multiple stairs at a time! In other words, you will be lunging as well as stair climbing. What an awesome mechanism eh? Because you are forced to leap with every step, not only does this strengthen the muscles involved, but it also increases your explosive power.
As you get better, you will be able to descend faster. As I am not very sure footed on trail runs on the decent, stairs actually help to train me to get better and find my footing faster. Also, it helps with gradually easing you into losing your fear of heights. It did for me!