The thought of taking an elevator and riding in its cool confines all the way up to your office seems so much more convenient. Thanks to the multitudes of jobs involving people to sit for long stretches at their desks, sedentary lifestyles are on the rise. Even for those individuals who hit the gym regularly or play a sport, keeping it up regularly is a stretch.

At times like these, stairs are a godsend. Climbing stairs is a brilliant way to burn calories, build endurance and strengthen your legs. Climbing stairs engages your calves, glutes, quads, and hamstrings to burn excess fat and building lean muscle mass.

While many may argue that their offices are all the way up to the tenth or fifteenth floor of a building, it can still be done in batches. One sprint all the way up to the tenth floor is fairly decent workout. As a flipside to this, there are those who think taking two stairs at once will increase the amount of calories burnt, however that is not true. Taking one step at a time is definitely a better way to burn calories and gain endurance.

Here are five reasons why taking the stairs helps you stay fit:

1. It’s a free workout – Paying a bomb for the gym is not your style? Hit the stairs! A mere seven minutes a day of climbing the stairs halves the risk of a heart attack over ten years. It can help greatly in preventing weight gain and keeps you healthy. The best part about it is that you can weave this into your life at any point of time. If you have missed your workout, make up for it by sprinting up a flight of stairs. Keep in mind that ten steps account for one calorie burnt.

2. Extends your life – Climbing 20 floors a week is associated with a 20% lower risk of an all-cause mortality. It keeps your joints functioning and strong. While the motion of climbing up one step after the other may be hard for you, it is not hard on the joints. However slow or quick you may move up the stairs you are getting quite a workout. Running however causes far more impact on the joints and does not have the same benefits at a slower pace.

3. Helps with weight loss – The heavier you are the more calories you burn while climbing the stairs. It is also a strenuous workout while making sure you are completely in control of the pace. Climbing stairs slowly is as good a workout as sprinting up the stairs, keeping a control on the pace, however, makes sure your joints stay healthy.

4. Helps you take a break from work – Stepping out of the office for a quick sprint up and down the stairs might leave you gasping for breath but it is a brilliant little workout. Taking the stairs on a regular basis will keep you healthy even if your job is a sedentary one. This form of exercise uses your bodyweight and therefore helps you burn more calories.

5. It saves energy – Not taking the elevator once in a while is not only good for your health, it also keeps the nature healthy. Any energy saved is beneficial, and taking the elevator can not only be your bit to improve your physical fitness but also help keep nature healthy.

What do you think?

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