Take the stairs whenever possible. Exercise is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body. And the best part of exercise is that it makes you feel great. Just 20 to 30 minutes per day can make a difference in how you feel and recent studies have shown that it does not matter if you get this exercise over the course of the day or all at once. Make exercise easy and add it into your daily routine.
Do you ever notice how you breath heavier or even get winded when you’re climbing up stairs? In the Sunday Boston Globe Parade section this morning their was a question that asked why do I get winded climbing up stairs when I can easily run a mile on a treadmill? They first mentioned the difference between rolling a suitcase compared to picking up one and carrying it and how it’s a lot easier to roll it.
Joseph Signorile, Ph.D, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Miami then compares running on a treadmill where you barely lift your body weight up and down and climbing up stairs. When your walking up a typical 45-degree staircase you’re required to move 70% of your body weight against gravity. Dr. Signorile’s is the author of a new book called Bending the Aging Curve.
When you take the stairs, it is important to climb them as fast as you can. This exercise is called burst, interval or PACE training. This type of exercise can be described as alternate bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. Research indicates that exercising for 1 minute at high intensity a few times throughout the day can be as effective as exercising for 30 to 60 minutes at an average pace.
A recent Scotland Study had one group of individuals maintain their low intensity exercise while another group completed three high intensity sessions per week. The high intensity group only exercised 15% as much as the low intensity group and both groups had the same results!
Personal Trainers Jade Teta and Keona Teta suggest that burst training can be effective by doing short bursts of activity throughout the day. They give examples like running up the stairs for a minute on your lunch hour, doing a minute run in the morning at high intensity, a minute of push-ups at your top speed before dinner and a minute of squats during a commercial. Now that would be four minutes a day, can you do it?
To make burst training effective you must exercise at 90% to 100% of your maximum effort for 30 to 60 seconds. This level of effort will allow your body to burn stored sugar, (glycogen). Follow up this “Burst” with 30 to 60 seconds of low impact exercise for recovery.
This method of exercising will cause your body to burn fat for the next 36 hours.
You only need to do 4 to 6 sets of 30 to 60 second bursts 3 times a week to see marked changes and improvements. More is not always better – make sure you have days of rest.