Take the Stairs

August 2, 2013
361 Views

This past Sunday, I made my way out to Squamish, BC and hiked the Stawamus Chief.

health

Stawamas Chief

This past Sunday, I made my way out to Squamish, BC and hiked the Stawamus Chief.

health

Stawamas Chief

With an elevation of 702 M, it provided a fairly enjoyable hike, which ended with a beautiful view. Recently, I have been incorporating a lot of outdoor stair climbing and hiking into my workouts, usually because the weather is too good to be staying indoors. Luckily, living in British Columbia, I have the luxury to hike a variety of trails, most of them going straight up, which can be similar to stair climbing. Recently, I have included doing sets of stairs outdoors at Crescent Beach in White Rock, which has been a great addition to my workout regime.

fitness and stairs

Crescent Beach Stairs

After a bit of research, I discovered that stair climbing actually burns more calories than many other forms of physical activity, and provides many valuable health benefits, like burning fat and strengthening your heart and lungs. Initially, I trained on inclined running surfaces, such as stairs and hiking trails to improve my aerobic fitness and leg endurance; however, I have learned that it’s not only very effective, but also quite enjoyable.  For someone like me with a penchant for intensity, a 40-minute routine which includes sprinting up sets of steps leaves me both out of breath and with loads of lactic acid burning through my quadriceps and hamstrings. Not only has it improved my aerobic fitness, my legs have become more toned and efficient, allowing me to stay competitive in many of my favorite activities. Of course this type of routine is not for everyone, but taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work has proven to provide great health benefits for the sedentary. Senior Life Health outlined 10 reasons to take the stairs over the elevator in this article.

Recently, the Boston Public Health Commission have been promoting the Take The Stairs campaign, which has implemented signage of health benefits next to flights of stairs and stairwells at the workplace in order to encourage individuals to choose the stairs over the elevator.  Their goal has been to increase awareness of the health improvements that can be achieved by simply taking the stairs, hoping to increase the amount of physical activity the average individual. Usually, the reason why many adults choose not to exercise is because of their busy schedules, but they fail to realize that fitness and health improvements can be made by simply including more physical activity into their day. Parking your car a little further, choosing the stairs over the elevator, and going for a walk during your break are all simple ways to increase physical activity.

hiking health

View from the Chief

Overall, I personally recommend hiking to all capable individuals. There is no better reward after a grueling hike than the view at the top.