5 ways climbing stairs can improve your heart health
Climbing stairs is a heart-healthy exercise as it can not only improve cardiorespiratory fitness but also indicate if anything is wrong with your heart.
Climbing stairs is one of the most inexpensive, convenient and effective ways to keep fit. It is especially a heart-healthy exercise as it can not only improve cardiorespiratory fitness but can also indicate if anything is wrong with your heart. In some ways, climbing stairs is more effect than walking on plain ground and also provides workout to your lower body which may be deprived of any movement due to sedentary lifestyle of people. Stair climbing is also good for lowering high blood pressure. (Also read: Heart attacks while on treadmills: 10 reasons why this may happen, according to doctors)
According to the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, just half-n-hour of stair-climbing a week, broken up in 10-minute sessions three times a week, can greatly improve cardiorespiratory fitness. There are studies that prove people who can climb 4 consecutive flights of stairs in less than 1 minute have good cardiovascular health. On the other hand, if you take more than 1 minute 30 seconds to climb 4 flights of stairs, it could indicate cardiovascular disease.
Taking the stairs instead of elevators is a simple yet effective way to improve your heart health. According to Dr Jayati Rakhit, Founder and Clinical Director at Ohio Hospital in Newtown, Kolkata, here are five ways this choice can have a positive impact on your cardiovascular well-being:
5 ways taking stairs can improve your heart health
- Enhanced cardiovascular fitness
Climbing stairs is a cardiovascular exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the legs and core. Regular stair climbing elevates your heart rate, promoting better cardiovascular fitness. Over time, this can lead to a stronger heart that pumps blood more efficiently and reduces the risk of heart disease.
2. Calorie burning and weight management
Opting for the stairs can help you burn calories, aiding in weight management and reducing the risk of obesity, a major contributor to heart problems. Climbing stairs engages larger muscle groups, which can burn more calories than taking the elevator. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for heart health.
3. Improved blood circulation
Stair climbing promotes better blood circulation throughout your body. As you climb, your heart pumps more blood, delivering oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs. This improved circulation can reduce the risk of blood clots, atherosclerosis, and hypertension, all of which can contribute to heart disease.
4. Lowered cholesterol levels
Regular physical activity, such as taking the stairs, can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often referred to as 'good' cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol can reduce the build-up of 'bad' low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in your arteries. This lowers the risk of plaque formation and keeps your arteries clear and healthy.
5. Stress reduction
Climbing stairs can also serve as a stress-reliever. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, natural mood enhancers that reduce stress and anxiety. Chronic stress is linked to heart disease, so managing stress through regular stair climbing can have a protective effect on your heart.
Incorporating this simple change into your daily routine can contribute significantly to a healthier heart and a reduced risk of heart disease. So, the next time you're faced with the choice between stairs and an elevator, consider taking the stairs for the sake of your heart's well-being.