Harvard Health Letter

Fast way to improve heart and muscle fitness

Stair climbing burns twice the calories of walking, and it strengthens your heart, lungs, and muscles.

Working exercise into your daily routine is a great way to boost your activity level. That's why we often recommend that you take the stairs when possible. "We know that spending long periods of time sitting down can have a negative impact on heart health, so stair climbing is a great way to break up sedentary time," says Dr. JoAnne Foody, medical director of cardiovascular wellness services at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. Stair climbing is so good for you that it's not just reserved for opportunities to skip an elevator; it's now considered a bona fide workout.

What's the appeal?



Photo: Thinkstock

Stair climbing builds muscle strength in your legs, buttocks, arms, and even your shoulders.
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