You are going to like today’s exercise. No, really! It is low-impact, requires no training and no special equipment. What do we have up our sleeves, you wonder? Nothing, it is all in the shoes! So tie up the laces on your runners and follow us. We are going stair climbing today! Head to the top of the stairs and wait for us there, while we expound on the benefits of stair climbing.
While you might think that climbing a set of steps is a little simple to be included in an exercise regime, think again. When was the last time that you had to climb several flights of stairs in a row? Could you make it to the top and still breathe or did you find yourself a little winded? I bet you did. That is because stair climbing is an excellent low-impact, cardiovascular exercise.
Stair climbing lowers blood pressure, improves cardiovascular functioning and can be an effective part of a weight loss program. Fifteen minutes of intense stair climbing is equivalent to a 30-minute run. Depending upon your body weight and rate of climb, 30-minutes of stair climbing can burn upwards of 300 calories! That is pretty impressive alone. When you consider that you are carrying your body weight against gravity, it is no surprise that your heart begins to race!
It is not only your heart that will benefit though. Your quadriceps, calves and buttocks will all receive the benefit from step climbing. The low-impact of this exercise also means that it is relatively safe for your knee joints. If you want to get other muscles involved, you could try pulling yourself up the stairs as well. In that way, your biceps, triceps and forearms will get a chance to get in on the workout as well. With regular stair climbing, you might even notice your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) going down and your HDL cholesterol going up. All great reasons to take that first step today!
Now while people walk up flights of stairs every day, there is a better way to go about it in order to gain the most benefits for your health. Proper form is essential to prevent injury.
You want to make sure that your spine is stacked up vertically, so that you do not encourage compression. Lean forward slightly with your back straight. Never allow your back to round out behind you. Keep your head raised, look at the stair ahead of you, and try not to bend your neck. Note your foot placement on the tread as well. When you take a step, make sure that your entire foot lands on the tread. If your heel does not land on the step, you leave yourself open to injury.
Most importantly though, be aware of your body and make sure you listen to its cues. You heart rate will rise, and you will begin to sweat. Don’t overdo it, especially when are first starting out. Make sure you drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Think about using stair climbing as part of a cross-training exercise regime to prevent over-use injuries or boredom from setting in. If you are worried about boredom though, you could always queue up a new ebook on your ipod to keep you company! You will be on your way to better health and killer legs in no time!
We love to mix up your workout routines here at Premier Fitness Camp Fitness Retreat. We never want you to be bored or only do things one way!