Can Walking Up Stairs Boost Metabolism?
Climbing a flight of stairs, rather than taking the elevator, can boost your metabolism and save your life. Climbing stairs requires energy, which kicks your metabolism into action. Metabolism is the chemical process responsible for all organ function such as breathing, cellular repair and digestion. The BBC reports that walking stairs can reduce the risk of premature death by 15 percent in those that live a sedentary lifestyle. The intensity at which you climb stairs determines your metabolic boost rate. Therefore, although passively climbing stairs has its benefits, it may not be enough for significant weight loss.
Ban the Elevator
Taking the stairs rather than the elevator can improve your physical fitness. Researchers from the University of Geneva performed a 12-week study where they asked participants to use the stairs instead of a lift when going to work. The study revealed that the participant’s lung capacity, cholesterol measurements, blood pressure and aerobic fitness all improved. By using the stairs, you can effectively contribute to your recommended 30 minutes of daily moderate exercise. However, it is important to note that the participants were sedentary individuals, which suggest that more physically active individuals may not benefit as much without increasing the intensity.
Calories You Can Burn
A 170-pound person can burn over 600 calories in 60 minutes of stair walking, according to Health Status. To effectively lose weight you burn about 500 to 1,000 calories daily to lose one to two pounds weekly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of stair climbing as an addition to your aerobic fitness regimen.
Recreate the Stairs
To recreate the health benefits of walking stairs in a more controlled environment, you can use exercise equipment. Stair climbing simulators, such as the stair climber, versaclimber and stair stepper allow you to increase the intensity of climbing stairs, which will boost your metabolism more effectively than real stairs. With a stair stepper, your feet are strapped to the pedal and this restricts your range of motion and helps reduce the risk of injury, such as falling or twisting your ankle.
Pick Up the Pace
Your metabolism responds to the intensity of your workout, the harder you go, the more calories you burn. Consider interval stair climbing which entails running up a flight of stairs as fast as you can and walking back down, before running back up again. Aim for 10 to 15 intervals, depending on the length of the stairs. This will help you increase your metabolism during and after your workout, which will lead to greater weight loss and body fat reduction.
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