Want to know a secret for staying fit? Running (or walking) the stairs. Living in the city has its advantages. It also has the ability to make you a little lazy. The escalators. The public transportation. The elevators. My building has two elevators and being the 15th floor, I use the "up" machine daily.
To counteract the potential to be lazy, I made a pact to take active forms of "transportation" whenever possible. I found that adding stairs to every day positively impacted my muscle tone ALL OVER. Not even kidding. I have been a runner for my entire life, and I love running, but I think I found a new love: stairs. Running stairs. Walking stairs. Dancing up the stairs. Incorporating stairs into my daily routine gave me muscle and leaned my "hiking" thighs...which I love/hate.
After seeing the results, I did what I do best, research the physiological benefits of running stairs. Guess what? Evidence shows that men and women who run at least four flights of stairs each day could lose nearly a dress size in one year. And that is without doing anything else. The workouts that I added below, incorporate more than four flights and add strength into the circuits. I didn't stop running or lifting, rather I added this to my daily routine to get the best results.
Stair Workout for the Workday:
Workdays can be hectic. Use this plan to squeeze in a few flights of stairs throughout the day! Aim for just 15 minutes a day of stairs to get the benefits.
At Home: If you have a second floor, go up and down the stairs 3-4 times ,while the coffee is brewing or the kids are eating their breakfasts.
At the Office: Skip the elevator. Aim to climb at least 2-3 flights of stairs each day at work. Take the stairs after you've eaten or down to the parking garage. If you work in a tall building, take the first few flights of stairs, and the use the elevator for the rest of the way up...unless
On the Streets: Walk up escalators or take the stairs, if available, at any location. Quick, light steps are best. Avoid ramps. Take stairs.
Stair Workout for the Weekend or Workout Days:
Rev up your metabolism, burn fat and increase your endurance by making this workout part of your weekly routine. I do it every evening after dinner. If you are new to stairs, then consider starting with 2-3 times per week. The key to this workout is to take the stairs one at a time to burn up to 14% more calories than taking stairs two at a time (some ridiculous study from the University of Roehampton).
Circuit One: Run up four flights of stairs and back down, making sure to run them quickly, just the balls of your feet hitting the steps. Run back down. Complete a stair dip (just like regular dips, but with the stairs...you've hit the decline point when your bum touches the stair). Perform 10-12 reps.
Circuit Two: Run the stairs this time with a widened stance. Remember to keep your arms moving! Descend the stairs and do 10-12 push ups followed by 20 squats.
Circuit Three: On the final run of stairs, repeat circuit one stairs. Descend and complete 30 calf raises, jumping jacks and sit ups.
If you add stairs into your workout routine, I guarantee that you will see a toned body in a few months. Make sure you are eating right and getting enough sleep too. Let me know how it goes!
Sites We Love
The Baker Chick
The Candida Diet
Super Healthy Kids
Wake Up World
No Meat Athlete
American Nutrition Assoc.
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“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
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