The Truth About Climbing Stairs

climbing stairsStair climbing and bulky legs

Most people believe that climbing up several flights of stairs regularly will bulk up your legs.

According to Martica Heaner, Ph.D., M.A., M.Ed., for MSN Health & Fitness, climbing up stairs will not bulk up your legs. Rather, how muscular your legs are depends on your genes. Heaner adds that the only way to increase the size of your muscles in the lower body is to do "progressive, intense strength training (read: lift increasingly heavy weights over time).

You also need to eat more to fuel muscle growth. Even some body builders have a hard time building muscles in their legs and lower body. On the other hand, there are some who may notice a slight increase in mass from carrying their own weight.

However, Heaner says it is very unlikely that stair climbing provides enough resistance to encourage muscle growth if you are used to doing it. Even if it did, there would be minimal increase in muscle mass.

Calorie burn

Climbing stairs burns lots of calories. And that’s what contributes to your weight loss efforts. Heaner says, counting the total minutes it takes you to climb X flights stairs can give you an estimate of calories burned. (See: Does stair climbing bulk up your legs for computation).

Based on the computation, walking down the stairs burns fewer calories since the intensity is lower. Also, remember that calorie burns are always estimates so you need not be to exact.

High-intensity workout

Walking up stairs is a great workout since it allows you to burn more calories that waking on a flat surface for the same amount of time. Walking up stairs also offers higher intensity. Climbing stairs is a vigorous form of cardio exercise. It is also low impact which means you workout hard without exerting much effort on your joins.

Source: MSN