The Weight Loss Weapon You Use Every Day

October 19, 2015

You???re running late to an important meeting and as luck would have it, you miss the elevator. Being late is not an option, so you decide to walk up the two flights of stairs. You make it on time with a few seconds to spare, relieved that you beat your boss to the room. What you may not realize is that you???ve just burned about seven times more calories than you would have had you taken the elevator.

Stair climbing is one of the most efficient exercises you can do to improve your health and lose weight. It may not be the popular choice when pitted against an elevator or escalator, but each step you take is literally one in the direction of better health. Here are a few reasons why you should give this aerobic exercise a try:

Weight loss. A few extra trips up the steps can help you drop the pounds. According to the Health Science Center at the University of New Mexico, climbing up two flights of stairs every day could help you lose six pounds in a year. If you were to climb six flights a day, you could lose nearly 18 pounds. If you use the elevator regularly, get off one floor early. You???ll be able to burn those extra calories without having to step foot in the gym!

Muscle builder. Stair climbing helps you burn calories even after you reach the top. Each step helps build quadriceps muscles in your leg. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, meaning even more weight loss.

Time Saver. The staircase is a great friend for those who feel like there???s no time to dedicate to exercise. You don???t need to worry about spending time changing in and out of workout clothes and it can easily be added to your daily routine.

No Training Required. You don???t need special skills or athletic prowess to enjoy the health benefits from this exercise. If you need assistance going up or down the stairs, use the banister for help. Pulling on the banister will help you build upper-body strength. That???s a win-win!

Options, options, options. Access to this exercise virtually has no limits. Use the staircase at home, a local park, work, or any other place you come across. Stair-stepping machines are common in most gyms. If you don???t want to go it alone, try a step class. These classes are fun way to repeat the same movements you would on a staircase and burn big calories in the process.

Overall health improvements. Research has shown that aerobic exercises like stair climbing can help improve sleep, provide stress relief, and improve mood. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that short bouts of stair climbing could favorably alter risk factors for heart disease. This form of exercise also helps improve balance and coordination, which may help reduce your risk slip and fall injuries.

The next time you need to use an elevator ask yourself, ???Could I take the stairs instead???? Remember it???s never too late to improve your health through physical activity. And remember, always check with your medical provider before engaging in any form of exercise.

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