Is the simple act of climbing stairs the no fuss, best workout you’re maybe not doing?

These days, we’re all time poor and on the search for the holy-grail to fast fitness. Stairs might be the answer you’re looking for! Just climb a few flights to see how quickly your heart rate spikes! This is the beauty of stair climbing; you get to that level of intensity so fast you’ll burn a staggering amount of calories in a very short period. In-fact, the average 80kg Aussie will burn 280 calories in just 15 minutes when running stairs.

So, how long do you need to stair climb to get results?

One study showed that just 20 seconds of sprinting up stairs 3 times a day for 6 weeks increased aerobic fitness by 5 percent! Click here for full article.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine* found that simply walking up 200 steps twice a day, five days a week, for eight weeks, can increase aerobic fitness by up to 17 percent!

Typically a stair climb session is usually no more than 20 minutes. In this short time you’ll still get a really effective workout.  For the high-rise office worker this is good news. You can spend 20 minutes on stair climbing, leaving you the remainder of your lunch hour to freshen up and grab a bite! You’ll come back more focused and with a little extra bonus – because climbing just one additional flight of stairs each day for a year can shave 0.58 years off your brain age^. It makes your brain younger!

But, don’t expect fitness gains from just one session, you’ll need to put in the hard yards to get the results you’re after but they’ll be fantastic results when they do come (see our article on the benefits of stair climbing here).

However, this form of exercise comes with a warning. Don’t go out too hard or the tough workout will seem like child’s play once the muscle soreness kicks in later. Build up your endurance. You may have to start with a few flights. The important thing is to be consistent, increase your flights and your intensity as you progress in your fitness journey. Who knows you may find yourself aiming for next level and a big fitness goal like stair climbing a stadium (more information here).

We challenge you to find a workout that offers fitness gains as fast and as cheap as a stair workout can deliver. There’s no other equipment or special coordination needed plus it offers cardio, strength and calorie burning all-in-one. What’s not to love?

*British Journal of Sports Medicine, Sept 2005: 39(9):590-3. ^