Brief, Intense Stair Climbing May Increase Cardiovascular Fitness
No gym membership? No time to work out? No more excuses! New research
published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
says a staircase and a few minutes may be all you need to improve your cardiorespiratory fitness.
Canadian researchers recruited 31 sedentary yet otherwise healthy women to either climb stairs or ride a stationary bike for three 20-second “all out” bouts. They did this ten-minute workout (including warm up and cool down) three days per week. After six weeks of training, measurements of fitness such as heart rate and peak oxygen uptake were the same between groups, meaning a simple staircase can provide the same beneficial workout as an expensive bike.
Sound familiar? We’ve seen the benefits of stairs before: A Swiss study we reported in 2009 linked stair climbing to a 9% increase in aerobic capacity, which translated to a 15% drop in the chances of premature death.
Thirty minutes on the stairs a week was all it took in this study, though we recommend getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week and mixing up your routine when you can.
Published April 1, 2017