Climbing stairs is a simple task that we encounter almost every day in our lives, yet we overlook the benefits. After all, the only purpose of stairs is to go up to the next floor. Right? However, reality proves the contrary. Climbing stairs is beneficial for both physical and mental health. In fact, medical experts recommend taking the stairs instead of the elevator unless specified otherwise.
If you still think that going up a flight of stairs is a tedious non-useful exercise, here are five reasons to convince you that it is just the opposite.
Perhaps the most prominent benefit of climbing stairs is an overall improvement in muscle strength. You must have noticed the pressure on your muscles to climb a single set of stairs. From legs to abs, all muscles work together to climb stairs. Therefore, all muscles receive a fair amount of exercise, eventually increasing strength. Even if you live or work at a place that doesn’t have too many steps, you can replicate the movement by using specialized equipment designed to simulate stairs. We’re talking about vertical climbers.
To some extent, a vertical climber can prove to be even better than stairs. They produce resistance to movement and display the number of calories burnt and the number of steps taken. Using such equipment can help you stay healthy while also enjoying the exercise without any real stairs at all.
Improves Mental Health
Undeniably, taking the stairs can improve your physical health. However, surprisingly it can have an equal benefit on your mental health. A study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging shows that people who take the stairs more often have a ‘younger’ brain with healthier grey matter.
Additionally, it is a form of physical exercise and keeps cortisol levels in check, thus reducing stress levels. The process also triggers the release of endorphins, which are also known as our happy hormones. These hormones will help you feel relieved and refreshed.
Improves Cardiovascular Fitness
Climbing stairs requires a lot of energy and is quite vigorous. Because of this, it has a significant impact on your cardiovascular fitness, helping to improve it for years to come. The continuous upward movement against gravity increases your breathing rate and heartbeat. As a result, your heart pumps more blood throughout your body, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscles and organs. This has a profound impact on your overall well-being. You’ll notice a drastic increase in your stamina and a reduction in breathing problems.
Good cardiovascular health can save you from severe chronic problems, such as heart disease and obesity. In fact, doing so can even increase your lifespan. Moreover, climbing stairs is easier to do than other cardiovascular fitness exercises while also providing more significant benefits in the long run. It wouldn’t be a smart choice to miss such a reasonable opportunity to maintain fitness.
Helps to prevent strokes
Many people around the world suffer from strokes, which can often be fatal. However, you can reduce the risk by simply taking the stairs more frequently than usual. A study by Harvard has shown that activities that involve vertical climbing help reduce the risk of a stroke.
Fat deposits in extremely narrow and delicate blood vessels restrict the supply of oxygen and sugar to the brain, eventually leading to a stroke. Frequent exercise by climbing stairs ensures that your heart supplies a constant blood supply to the brain, thus minimizing the chances of blockage. Moreover, better cardiovascular health also reduces blood pressure and regulates cholesterol metabolism to decrease the deposition of fats in blood vessels.
Burns A Reasonable Number Of Calories
Here’s an added perk for people who are continually fretting about not being able to lose weight. The movement required to climb stairs can burn a significant number of calories. In fact, a short yet intense stair-climbing exercise can burn more calories than jogging. You can burn approximately 0.17 calories for every step you take upwards and 0.05 calories for every step downwards. Now do the math!
Burning excess calories is essential to lose weight and remain fit and healthy. Taking the stairs can be a quick and easy way of dealing with this menace. It’s an even better exercise for people struggling with obesity. The more your weight is, the more calories you will burn while going up and downstairs. It is also an excellent exercise for people with diabetes to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Using the stairs has numerous perks. Instead of spending awkward moments in the elevator or wasting time on an escalator, consider taking them whenever you have the option too. It’s a quick and easy exercise to stay fit and healthy without even putting in the extra effort. You can even lunge over them to work out those leg muscles. So, are you taking the stairs next time?