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Is Walking the Stairs a Good Exercise?

by
author image Beth Rifkin
Based in San Francisco, Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis," "American Fitness" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.
Is Walking the Stairs a Good Exercise?
The vertical nature of stairs presents a unique challenge for the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Photo Credit Kane Skennar/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Walking stairs provides an efficient low-impact cardiovascular workout that also builds strength in your lower body. The vertical nature of stairs presents a unique challenge for the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Most exercise and athletic activity consists of moving forward or laterally, such as jogging, walking and cycling, whereas the upward motion used to climb stairs requires your body to move in an alternative direction. Working your muscles from different angles can help you to maximize muscle growth.

Calorie Burn

Walking stairs can burn 472 calories per hour for someone weighing 130 pounds and up to 690 calories per hour if you weigh 190 pounds, according to State of Wisconsin’s Department of Health and Family Services. That's comparable to running at the pace of 5 mph, playing in a basketball game, or bicycling at a moderate speed of 12 to 13 mph.

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