Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1st Annual National Take the Stairs Day!

For those of you who work on the 10th floor, I hope you wore really supportive shoes today…
The USA Stair Climbing Association has “stepped up” and announced January 9, 2013, as the very first annual national Take the Stairs Day!
The event is also sponsored by, an organization dedicated to supporting amateur athletes in the sport of competitive stair climbing (WOW!). They write: 
"As stair climb enthusiasts, participants and  stair climbing advisors, we have witnessed many non-active people in poor health and sometimes seriously overweight turn their lives around with the simple act of walking up stairs. 
Stair climbing is becoming popular and it’s popularity can be attributed to it being non-impact, with workouts mainly done indoors, so bad weather or darkness does not effect performance and going up stair does not require any special athletic ability or equipment. All a person needs are stairs and a pair of shoes!
On January 9th we want to encourage all who normally take an elevator or escalator to take the stairs instead. From doctors and nurses in hospitals to secretaries and business professionals in office buildings, our hope is that if you want to become more physically fit, you will discover how GREAT an exercise walking up stairs really is. 
Show the nation that you are ready to “STEP UP” to this challenge! 
NOTE: Anyone starting a new exercise or activity plan of any type should consult a physician before doing so."

In my opinion, stairclimbing is the ultimate form of cardio exercise. can tell you why:
You blast crazy calories: Because it engages your body’s largest muscle groups to repetitively carry your body weight up each step. "Using your largest muscles to carry your own weight uphill is far superior to exercising on a flat treadmill when it comes to work performed and calories burned."
Your heart rate is in supermode: Mastering the StairMaster "engages every major muscle in your lower body as many as 120+ times/minute: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves." Plus, since your doing high reps, you'll build lean muscle and blast fat. Get out your short shorts!
No more achy joins: The StairMaster not only engages a slew of muscles, but you don't have to push your body over the top to achieve great results. Even working at very low speeds, you will still snag high work efforts, minimizing the stress on your body. gives the example that climbing at 1 mph on the StepMill 5 is roughly equivalent to running at 6 mph on a flat treadmill. 
StairMaster vs Real Stairs: If you go up "real" stairs in your building, that means you're going to have to come back down, which is much rougher on your knees than climbing upwards since your muscles are "braking" to battle gravity's effect. Plus, you hit each step with higher impact. So when you stairclimb at the gym, you get all the benefits without any of the negative repercussions. Let's get up those stairs!
20 minutes counts for 30 minutes: When you mix so many different forms of workout - building muscle, cardio, strengthening, toning - in a single workout means you'll get stellar results in less time. That means you can sleep a bit more in the morning. That's what I'm talking about!

Now, I know the StairMaster can be intimidating. I remember the first time I tried it... I thought I was going to pass out. I think I only did it for 5 minutes before I had to quit. But soon 5 minutes became 10 minutes... then 10 minutes became 20, and so on. Today, I do a full blown hour at a pretty high setting, including intervals to improve my heart rate.  
So keep in mind that you're not going to be a professional stairclimber overnight. But this machine will show you the results that the elliptical simply cannot deliver. You will get stronger, feel leaner and have a really incredible sense of accomplishment for having "mastered" such a rigorous cardio challenge.

For more information on stairclimbing or workouts you can try, check out the following links: 

Get stepping and happy "Take the Stairs" Day!

~Life in the fit lane~
- Brittany

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