A latest research suggests that climbing stairs is considered to be one of the best ways to burn up calories and strengthen your heart. According to a British survey, climbing stairs is directly associated with reduced risk of heart diseases.

It is said that an overweight person can lose up to five kilogrammes by climbing two flights of stairs a day for a year. Only strenuous activities like dragging logs and sprinting seem to burn up more energy per minute than climbing stairs. Regular stair climbing is also a beneficial augmentative exercise in a vigorous cardiovascular workout.

Offering benefits such as toned arms and legs, stair-climbing is the latest workout craze. Find out why this fitness trend is picking up in popularity. Here are ten things you might not have known about the wonders of stair climbing as a form of exercise:

  1. You’ll burn more calories for every minute climbing stairs than you will jogging.
  2. Stair climbing produces endorphin – the feel good hormone. Now you know why there are people out there addicted to stair racing. The pain and intensity during is rewarded at the end with a rush of endorphin. You’ll feel worn out but you’ll be really happy about it!
  3. If you’re doing stairs to lose weight there’s good news in it for you because the heavier you are the more calories you’ll burn.
  4. Stair climbing is like a cardio session and light weights class rolled into one. Because you are working against gravity and propelling yourself upward you’re using your body weight to build leg strength and the act of stair climbing is a vigorous activity, so you’ll be getting a great cardio workout too. It’s a really efficient workout if you are after an exercise that delivers good bang for your buck.
  5. It’s a myth that taking two stairs at a time burns more calories. Slow and steady wins the race here by burning energy over sustained periods. BUT – it’s more efficient to take two stairs at a time if you’re wanting to get to the end as fast as you can!
  6. 10 minutes of stairs a day is about 500 kilojoules – so you can work off your full cream ice cream, sprinkled with rainbow buttons.
  7. Going down stairs still burns calories, just not as many. BUT it does works and tones different muscles. Hello calves! It’s also good for balance and coordination.
  8. Climbing stairs can lead to improved cardiovascular health and stronger joints and muscles
  9. Using the stairs requires no special skills, equipment or clothing and it burns twice as many calories as walking.
  10. Just 2 minutes of climbing stairs a day can keep off the pesky 900 grams that most adults gain in a year.

Since every little bit of exercise is a step forward on the long road to health, walking down stairs is also a plus. But while gravity makes walking up tough, it makes walking down easy on the heart.

Since you’ll burn less than a third as many calories going down a flight as going up, don’t count on walking down to build fitness or shed fat. Still, you use different muscles going down, and they contract differently at that, so going down does make a contribution to your legs. It may also improve balance, but since many older people are a bit challenged in that department, it’s wise to use the railing, or at least be railing-ready.

Want to stay well? Step right up then!

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