Is running up stairs good exercise?

Submitted by chris parker on January 4, 2013

Did you know that only 48 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended level of physical activity per week? If you don’t fall in that percentage, remember: it is never too late. People most often associate physical activity with either the gym, jogging or playing sports, but if that doesn’t appeal to you, a simple activity like running up the stairs will do the trick.


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In fact some studies say that more calories are burned running up and down stairs than jogging or cycling. You might think that running up and down stairs is a piece of cake, but it can prove to be quite a challenging activity however once you get going, the benefits will definitely be fruitful.

Using the stairs as a means of exercise is great as it is free, easily accessible and very efficient to help shed unwanted calories and be fit.

Running up and down stairs is good exercise, a person weighing around 160 lbs can burn up to a 102 calories in 10 minutes by doing this. And 30 minutes of this form of exercise can burn around 300 calories. Stair climbing or running strengthens muscles and builds stamina.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when stair-running, these are:

  • Stretch exercises – do up simple stretching exercises before you start stair-running to avoid strains or muscle cramps.
  • Good running shoes – while you can walk with any kind of shoes up and down stairs, when doing it for exercise purposes wear running shoes. This will help in giving you a firm grip and make it easier for you to conduct your exercise.
  • Every other step – running up the stairs on every other step will help tone your legs and buttocks while burning more calories.
  • Use your thighs – run up the stairs by pushing with your thighs. Make sure your legs are not completely straight as this could lead to strain on the knees.      
  • Hold weights – to make your exercise routine more effective, you can run up the stairs with weights.
  • Run and rest – run up for 7 to 13 seconds, walk down steadily and rest for a few seconds. Repeat this 6 to 12 times. You can step it up a notch or too by increasing the running-up session to 8 to 14 seconds and repeating the reps 8 to 12 times.

In this way, you can work towards losing weight, toning your body and shedding calories – one step at a time.

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