Burn More Calories – Take the Stairs

Walk Stairs to Burn More Calories

Walk Stairs to Burn More Calories – Photo by Vijay Chennupati

Are you trying to burn more calories without spending more time at the gym? If your answer is yes, then get yourself to the nearest set of stairs!

Walking up and down the stairs is great exercise and burns calories. You can burn about 300 calories for 30 minutes of walking the stairs depending on the intensity of your workout. But, beware, 30 minutes is a lot of time to spend walking up and down stairs. It is hard work.

I used to take an exercise class where the instructor would have us walk up and down about 10 flights of stairs. Everyone was exhausted by the time we were finished.

The advantages of walking the stairs?

Stair Climbing Pilatus Mountain

Stair Climbing Pilatus Mountain – Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

There are many:

  • You can walk the stairs anywhere there are stairs – offices, homes, stores
  • We all know how to do it, no special training is needed
  • No special equipment is needed, though if you are going to walk up multiple flights as exercise you need good shoes. I used to walk the stairs at work in high heels, but it was only for a floor or two. I had some scary moments, especially going down stairs where I almost catapulted myself over the edge a few times.
  • You can do this exercise in short spurts. If you only have time to run a report up to a colleague two floors up from you that still counts as exercise even if you do not take the stairs again for another couple of hours.
  • Stair climbing will exercise your legs particularly your quadriceps (front of the thighs) and your butt.
  • Your heart will get a good workout
  • It is low impact and safe for your knee joints

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But…….

  • If you are walking stairs at a public facility make sure the stairs are safe, clean, well-ventilated and have enough light.
    Stairwells in public buildings can hide a wide variety of nasty smells and icky things.
  • Let someone know if you are going to be taking an exercise break at work to walk the stairs for 10 or 15 minutes. That way if something happens, whether an injury or getting locked out, someone will notice if you are not back at your desk.
  • Take your time, especially coming down the stairs and make sure you hold on to the railing for balance.
  • Make sure the doors don’t lock behind you and that you can get out of the stairwell when you want. I walked down the stairs at work only to find that the bottom three floors had doors that locked and could not be opened from the stairwell so I had to walk all the way back up again. Aside from the inconvenience it caused a few moments of panic. I thought I would be in the stairwell until the next fire drill.
  • Beware if you have knee problems, walking down stairs may cause pain. If your knees bother you going down stairs you can take the elevator down and walk back up or walk down one flight and walk around the floor, go down another flight and walk around that floor, etc. Giving yourself a little break every few minutes is easier on your knees than running down the stairs in one spurt of activity.

After your stair walking make sure you stretch your quads, hamstrings and calves. Those are the parts of your body that will work the hardest climbing stairs.

There is a Canadian web-site which will show you how many calories you burn going up and down the stairs. It will inspire you to step out of the elevator and on to the stairs.

Since most of us no longer smoke and water coolers are a thing of the past take a break from staring at your computer and take an exercise break to go walk the stairs. You will be surprised by what good exercise it is and just keep thinking about all those calories you are burning.


Comments
22 Responses to “”
  1. haley says:

    i think that as much as i way age a young age is to much i think i wold love losinng 300 callerios in 30 mintues i eould feel so nice i dont have to cover my stomic in a bathing sutie.

  2. Save Money says:

    Haha, I just got from walking the stairs for 12 minutes. It is a lot harder then you think and your heart does really start to work. Very surprising that walking stairs is so difficult. Each stair you take supposably burns around .11 calories so it’s an amazing way to burn them.

  3. Behzad K says:

    I just started doing stairs at work today. We have 9 floors, so i started with every other step. By the time i got up to 9th floor, i was totally out of breath. Going down 9 floors is easy. I repeated this 3 more times, 4 going up and 4 coming down. The coming down part is like a reward and good time to catch breath. I also took 2-3 minute breaks, when i completed going up and down. (on the down part only)
    Hoping to shed some fat. Will plan to do this every other day and combine some weight also in the program.

  4. Jeanette says:

    I walk up 17 flight of stairs 4 times a night and I walk up three steps at a time 5 days a week. I am 52 years old and weight 150 pounds and I wear a size 4p and 5/3. what do you think about that.

    • Jonetta says:

      That really captures the spirit of it. Thanks for posting.

  5. neetika says:

    i have started walkin up and down the stairs as part of my workout. i do this fr arnd 45 min in which i go up 1200-1500 stairs and down by the same number.its exhausting and fun

  6. peter pan says:

    mmmmm… stairs are fun:)

  7. Martin says:

    Good idea but exhausting. After three flights my legs feel as if they’re dropping off. Cycling is a lot more fun.

  8. MARTHA says:

    I DID IT FOR 10 MINUTES AND I GAIN 3 ONCES THEN I DIDNT EAT OR DRINK FOR THAT 10 MINUTES

  9. peter says:

    i live in 45 floor building , and since two weeks ago – everyday i walk the stairs from 3 floor to 45 with out any brake ….love it makes u feel soooo good when u get to the top , my reward is to get to my roof top and enjoy great view of manhattan !
    …and then – elevator back to my place :)

  10. Rodger says:

    I have a single flight of stairs to my basement, and as anyone does they go into the basement several times a day and many times a week.
    What I did was and I am just starting this is that every time that I go down to the basement, I walk up and down 5 times with the 5th time ending at the top of the stairs going out and closing the door.
    It is working great so far and I intend to increase it up from the 5 times adding another flight at a time each week.
    I think that will be a slow and easy pace for me to build on..
    Hope you folks can do it too.. :)

  11. Sanjeet says:

    I love climbing stairs since it is one of the best exercise. Whenever I am not running or playing squash, I climb stairs. I live in 23 floor building and have climbed it 10 times which totals to 230 floors. There are 18 stairs per floor so that makes it 4140 stairs in about 1 hr. I take the lift back to the ground floor since I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on my knees.

  12. ive just moved into a new office on the 3rd floor the stairs spiral round so there are more steps than the average stair case i make the journey atleast 14 times a day as well as cycling the 8 miles there and 8 miles back daily….its a great workout for people who have little time….

  13. Mary says:

    Good way to stay in shape when you are on a trip: hotels have lots of stairs! I was in Hawaii this past summer for 2 weeks and my room was on the 27th floor. My friends and I took the stairs every time we went up to our room, which was several times a day. It definetly made us feel better since we ate a lot of food during our traveling and it put our bodies in shape, perfect for all the beach activities! :)

  14. jhailstone says:

    I hadn’t thought much about using stairs for exercise. There’s an outdoor theater close to where I live that has a lot of stairs to get to the top. That would be an awesome place to practice doing the stairs walking, because you get a break at the top while you watch the show, then go down the stairs more easily. You just have to find the places in your area that have stairs and would work according to the guidelines from this post

  15. bryant says:

    i started walking from the 3rd floor to the 22nd once a hour for my 8 hour shift takes about 4 minutes is that too much??

  16. Anne says:

    When it is raining or nasty out I walk up and down the stairs at home 5 times several times a day. It is better than sitting in front of the TV all day. At least I am burning some calories.

  17. aiza says:

    glad i saw this article..i’m glad i can add this exercise to my reg. exercise which is jumping rope..it burns almost the same amount of calories since AVERAGE cal. you’re to lose is 11 cal-20 cal per minute..i lost 6.5 lbs.in almost 2 months bec. of this..and now i’m going to use climbing the stairs up and down, this type of exercise to stay fit..bonus is..you can listen to music or work on something while doing this two types of exercise..a def. try!

  18. Andromeda says:

    I know you said “walking up and down the stairs”, but did you actually mean walking up the stairs or were talking about running up the stairs? I’m asking because I just started doing that and for now I’m just walking (not running) up the stairs. I manage to walk up about 1200 steps without much aerobic effort, probably because I cycle and run regularly, but by the time I finished my legs felt heavy and tired. My muscles weren’t burning like they do when I do squats or lunges, but they were definitely tired. Anyway, I decided to begin by walking up the stairs because, as with every exercise, it’s best to start slowly, but I was wondering how good an exercise it is. Going up 1200 (and down another 1200) steps took me 30min at what I’d say was a normal stair climbing pace. i wasn’t going slowly but I think I’d have to start running up the stairs if I wanted to go faster.

  19. Alice says:

    I work from home and set a timer to get up and exercise every hour. One of my exercise breaks is to walk up and down my stairs for 5 minutes. After the brief break, my work tasks are easier to complete.

  20. how to build muscle fast says:

    Outstanding information once again! Thumbs up=)

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Burn More Calories - Take the Stairs