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Step Up to Tone Up

Step Up To Tone Up

Many of us go out of our way to avoid stairs, but using them as part of our exercise routine is a great way to lose weight and improve fitness; while toning and strengthening problem areas. Stair exercises can be used for aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, lower body strength training, power development and flexibility.

Dr. Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School states that one reason American women outlive their husbands by an average of more than five years could be a result of many housewives taking care of two- or three-story homes. The Harvard Alumni Study also found that men who average at least eight flights a day enjoy a 33% lower mortality rate than men who are sedentary.

In fact, researchers in Canada monitored 17 healthy male volunteers with an average age of 64 while they walked on the level, lifted weights or climbed stairs and the results revealed that stair climbing was the most demanding exercise of the three. They found stair climbing to be twice as taxing as brisk walking on a level surface and 50% harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights.

So what does this mean? Take the stairs whenever you can. Even at a slow pace, you’ll burn calories two to three times faster climbing stairs than walking and begin incorporating stair exercises into your workout routine for faster results. All you need is 30 minutes and a set of stairs to complete a killer workout. Of course, if you cannot find an endless staircase for your workouts, you can always utilize the ClimbMill at your local gym. ClimbMill’s replicate this real world exercise and work all the major muscles of the legs, including quads, hamstrings and calves while still burning fat and improving cardiovascular health.

For more information, please check out http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/stairs-as-fitness-tool/

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