National Take the Stairs Day

Happy New Year and National Take the Stairs Day!  Still need ideas for a New Year’s Resolution?  How about taking the stairs more often?

Using stairs has a myriad of benefits, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Burning more calories than using the elevator, escalator, or walking on a flat surface.  If one of your resolutions for the year is to lose some weight, this is a quick, easy swap that can help you meet your goal.
  • Building and maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and joints.  Using the range of motion necessary to walk up stairs helps work your joints, and the effort required to support body weight while climbing strengthens muscles and bones.  While taking the stairs instead of using the elevator at work isn’t going to make you look ripped, it’s still a nice incentive.
  • Increasing leg power.  This should seem a little obvious, but using your legs to take the stairs helps them get more powerful.  This is particularly important for aging adults because leg power is an important indicator in predicting risk of falls.
  • No special equipment.  There’s nothing special you have to buy in order to take the stairs.  From shopping malls, to your home, to outdoor spaces, this is one way to be a little more active that you can find just about anywhere.  
  • Getting in a quick workout.  Walking, jogging, or sprinting up the stairs can be an easy way to get some exercise in a short period of time.  During the last few minutes of your lunch break, while waiting for something to heat in the microwave, or during a commercial break on TV are all great times to get in a quick stair workout.

Whether you decide to take the stairs at work instead of using the elevator, or you make a point to use the stairs in your home more often there’s plenty of ways to add just a little bit more activity to your life.  How do you make your days more active?

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