Taking stairs at work or home might look like a minor thing, but it’s actually an exercise! You can either climb up or go down when you take the stairs. We have all heard about the health benefits of climbing up the stairs, but don’t ignore the power of walking downstairs. Taking the stairs and skipping the elevator or spending less time with your chair will ultimately boost your health. So, if you’re looking for a simple way to stay in shape, walking down the stairs may be the answer. It is a great addition to your existing workout routine and can be done anywhere, from your own home to a gym to an outdoor staircase.
HealthShots connected with fitness expert Varun Rattan, who shared all about the benefits of walking down the stairs.
Health benefits of walking down the stairs
1. Walking down the stairs helps to burn calories
You just need to dedicate 10 minutes to walking down the stairs to burn up to 50 calories, but it depends on your weight and intensity.
2. Walking down the stairs can help improve cardiovascular health
Walking down the stairs regularly can help to improve your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, says Rattan (ways to prevent heart diseases).
3. Walking down the stairs can improve balance
Going down the stairs can improve your balance and coordination, as it requires you to engage your core and legs. All of these benefits can help you look and feel better, both inside and out.
Knee health benefits of taking the stairs
Unless you have an issue with stability or your joints, or some other medical impediment, going down the stairs can be a great exercise for overall health. It can help improve knee strength, ankle mobility and reduce the risk of knee injuries, says Rattan of The Body Science Academy, Noida.
As you walk down the stairs, your muscles are working against gravity to keep you balanced and stable. This type of eccentric training can help strengthen muscles around your knees, which can help prevent knee pain. This in turn can improve your body’s ability to handle more intense exercises.
Make the most of staircase
There is so much you can do with your staircase, and your health will thank you (ways to lose weight by climbing the stairs) for it!
1. Walk up and down the stairs at a moderate pace
You can walk up and down the stairs at a moderate pace to get your heart rate up. You can also add variations to your routine by changing the speed or direction of your steps, or by alternating between walking up and jogging down.
2. Train your quadriceps and glutes by using stairs
You can train your quadriceps and glutes eccentrically by descending the stairs. For this, you might want to reach the top using an elevator or an escalator. This would delay the fatigue you would normally feel in the complete cycle of climbing up and down. This exercise can be done with or without weights, depending on your fitness level.
Number of steps a day that will make a difference
The number of steps you need to take each day to reap the benefits of taking the stairs depends on your fitness level and goals. If you’re just starting out, aim for a few minutes of walking down the stairs each day and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time.
Safety tips for using stairs for exercise
As with any form of exercise, it’s important to take safety precautions when walking down the stairs.
• Make sure to warm up before you start, as this can help reduce the risk of injury.
• It’s also important to wear the right shoes for stair climbing. Choose shoes that are comfortable and provide good support and shock absorption.
• Make sure to take breaks and stay hydrated.
• If you have any pre-existing health conditions, make sure to talk to your doctor before starting a stair climbing routine.