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How Long Should I Use the Stair Climbers at the Gym?

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
How Long Should I Use the Stair Climbers at the Gym?
Using the stair climber provides an aerobic workout. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The amount of time you devote to improving your health through use of the stair climber at the gym depends on your fitness goals. If you want to maintain your current physique, you won't need to exercise as much as someone who's trying to burn a significant amount of fat before a tropical vacation. If you're new to a fitness regimen, you can start with as little as 10 minutes, working up to longer or more intense workouts. To avoid workout boredom, vary your minutes between a stair-stepper and other exercises as you increase your endurance.

Maintain Body Type

Although your schedule will partially dictate the amount of time you can spend using the stair climber at the gym, strive for at least 150 minutes if you want to maintain your current body. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. If you're short on time, the department suggests 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise as an alternative.

Fat-Loss Workout

If you're dedicated to burning a significant amount of fat to improve your health or just help you fit into smaller clothing, increase the length of your stair-climber workout. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that if you wish to receive increased health benefits from your workout, increase your aerobic component to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Increasing the length of your stair-climber workout will help you burn more calories, build more muscle and improve your cardiovascular health.

Customizing Your Workout

If you're new to aerobic exercise and don't have the endurance to use the stair climber for 30 minutes straight, perform your workout in three 10-minute intervals with a few minutes of rest between each set. Doing so provides the same number of calories you'd burn in 30 minutes, but makes the exercise attainable. If you plan to exercise 30 minutes per day, 5 to 7 days a week, to reach or exceed the 150-minute guideline, the American Heart Association recommends completing three of your 30-minute workouts at moderate or vigorous intensity.

Calories Burned

Aerobic exercise machines such as the stair climber are effective ways to burn calories, but Harvard Medical School reports that using the machine only helps you burn calories at a moderate rate. People who weigh 125, 155 and 185 pounds will burn 180, 223 and 266 calories, respectively, during a half-hour workout on the stair stepper. Comparatively, the same three people will burn 315, 391 and 466 calories, respectively, during a vigorous 30-minute workout on the exercise bike. If you wish to burn calories at a faster rate than using the stair climber alone, add other exercises, such as jogging and cycling, to your workout regimen.

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