Running stairs isn't easy. Unless you are training for a big running event, you will be tempted to avoid stairs whenever possible.
About the only time you see anyone running up and down flights of stairs is when they are pushed by a coach. However, it is just the workout you need to fast track your weight loss efforts and improve your cardiovascular health.
A few times up and down a flight of stairs will give you a better cardio
workout than half an hour on an expensive cardio machine.
Additional benefits include increased muscle tone, more flexibility and higher endurance. Plus, it doesn't cost you anything.
You can find outdoor stairs all over town – stadiums, schools, office buildings. If you live in an apartment building, you have your very own indoor workout system right at your doorstep.
No excuses that it's raining or the weather is
too cold for your daily run.
When you decide to include a stair running routine into your regular program, don't underestimate how much work is required.
Stairs are much different than running on a flat surface, which is exactly why it is much more effective. Your heart will pump harder and faster, you will sweat more and your face will be more flushed.
These may sound like unattractive side effects, but consider the benefits. You will accomplish more in less than half the time.
You still have to remember to warm up and cool down. If stairs are the only exercise on the agenda for the day, start by walking slowly up and down a few times, then increase the pace with every ascent and descent until you reach a full blown run.
Warm up for about three minutes and run for about 15. Sounds simple, but you will be amazed at how difficult it actually is.
Keep in mind, this workout is based on a staircase of about 25 steps.
Running stairs uses just about every muscle in your body and is a great way to prepare for long-distance runs, when you use the proper technique.
The right technique will also give you the maximum benefits. With long distance runs you need long, smooth strides. To practice this on the staircase, you should take the stairs two at a time, stepping on every other one.
Make sure you use your whole body to propel yourself forward, and not just your legs.
Avoid putting too much stress on your knees by allowing your thighs to do a good share of the work. Don't step off on your heels, use your toes and the ball of your foot.
Because running stairs is such a vigorous workout, you may need several breaks, especially if you aren't too physically fit.
A good stair running strategy is to run up as fast and you can – after your warm up, of course – and run down at a light jog. Down might be easier on your body, but it is also riskier.
More accidents happen when people descend a staircase, than when they ascend. This is largely due to poor footage resulting in a slip and fall. People rarely fall up.
Always wear proper footwear to reduce the chances of slipping. If you are using your own staircase, at home, run barefoot or with proper, slip-resistant running shoes.
Do not run stairs with just socks on your feet. Socks are very slippery and will very likely result in an injury.
When you find yourself huffing and puffing, slow down to a walk both up and down, until you get your breath back. But, don't over-exert yourself.
If you are totally wiped, then you have had enough for the day. Experts recommend a 30 minute workout, but this isn't written in stone. Always stay within your limits. Over exertion can do more harm than good.
Exercise is important, but you won't be able to perform at your best if you don't fill your body with vitamins and nutrients.
Eat a healthy, nutritious diet and take supplements to make up for the nutrients you aren't getting from your food.
As important as food is, keep in mind that you burn the most fat on an empty stomach. That is why most athletes train first thing in the morning.
During the night your body uses all, or most of the fat in your body. By working out on an empty stomach, you are able to burn off the reserves – the extra fat your body stores in case of emergency.
Naturally, this will increase your appetite and by the time you do get your breakfast you will feel like you are starving. As long as you eat healthy food, your first meal of the day can be as large as you like.
The other meals should be small. The best way to maintain optimum weight and good health is by eating small amounts of food constantly – at least once every hour or so.
This gives your body time to take the nutrients it needs from the food and expel the waste. You will never feel hungry, so you will never overeat or prompt your body to store tons of fat for later use.
Running stairs burns a lot of calories. Replace these calories with foods high in vitamins and nutrients for a strong healthy body.