A long time ago, international pop sensation Madonna shared with the world how climbing stairs during her concert tours helped her stay in shape. Back home, even Akshay Kumar glorifies this “workout” and credits it for his fit avatar in many movies.
I am sure you’ve tried to follow in their footsteps and relied on climbing the stairs to burn some extra calories. Ditching the elevator for the stairs at home, hotel, mall, office, metro station, and wherever else in a bid to stay fit has probably even left you breathless. But you won’t relent because anything for that slim waist, right?
But, is your stair-climbing spree really worth the effort?
“Today’s hectic lifestyle demands a lot from us and leaves us with very little time for ourselves. Hence, any opportunity for better health should not be missed,” says lifestyle coach and yoga expert, Akshar.
“Taking the stairs whenever possible is a great way to have an active lifestyle and break away from sedentary comforts,” he adds.
That said, you’ve got to do it the right way
Climbing stairs is a great cardiovascular activity that can reap you weight-loss and other health benefits. But just like it’s important to have the correct stance while–say, lifting weights or ]performing yoga asanas–it’s important to pay attention to your form while climbing the stairs if you want results.
“Be sure to use your pelvis and thigh muscles to ease off the pressure on your knees while climbing stairs,” explains Akshar.
After all, you don’t want to damage your knees and you most definitely want to tone up those legs too, right?
By the way, conditions apply!
Expecting climbing the stairs to solve all your weight-loss woes is like expecting Ranveer Singh to stay calm. Basically, if you’re climbing the stairs while maintaining zero control over your life and living an otherwise-sedentary lifestyle–don’t expect to lose any weight.
“Losing weight is a cumulative effect of various factors over a period of time,” points out Dr Kruti Khemani, sports physiotherapist and founder of Continuum Clinic, Mumbai.
“If you use stairs once a week every week, it’s not going to make any difference, especially if you are fairly inactive the rest of the time. The process will only be effective if you work out, say, three times a week and use the stairs once every day. Then, it would obviously mean that your weight loss would be a cumulative of being active throughout the week,” she further explains.
FYI, the World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week for a healthy adult to stay fit, and Dr Khemani suggests adding your stair-climbing spree to these minutes instead of solely relying on it to lose weight.
So, all in all, just climbing the stairs won’t help friends. Weight loss demands more mehnat.