Climbing stairs alone will not give you a flat stomach. However, the challenging total-body workout provided by stair climbing combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle can help you get the trim waistline you desire. To lose weight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity or 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular activity each week, in addition to two weekly total-body strength-training sessions.
Climb stairs at a moderate pace for 150 minutes per week or at a vigorous pace for 75 minutes per week. For the former, break your stair-climbing workouts up into five 30-minute sessions or six 25-minute sessions per week; for the latter divide your workout into five 15-minute sessions or six 12.5-minute sessions per week. Choose a long set of stairs outdoors or use a stair-climbing machine at the gym.
Work out in your target heart rate range for optimal fat-burning results. According to the Cleveland Clinic, you get the best results and minimize your risk of injury when you exercise within your target heart rate range. To find your target heart rate range, subtract your age from 220, then multiply that number by 0.6 and 0.85 to find your optimal heart rate range, which is 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. For example, a 35-year-old woman should stay within a heart rate range of 111 to 157. Use the heart rate monitor on the gym stair-climbing machine or purchase a heart monitor to wear when climbing stairs outdoors.
Lose 1 to 2 pounds per week and reduce the size of your stomach by creating a daily calorie deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories. Do this by consuming fewer calories, climbing more stairs or a combination of both.
Eat a nutritious diet that is low in energy density and high in nutrient density. Low energy-dense foods have fewer calories in a larger portion size so you can eat more but take in fewer calories. This helps you feel satiated more quickly so you can eat less and lose weight. Nutrient density can be described as the ratio of nutrients to calories in a food. Those that have the most nutrients for the fewest calories are considered nutrient dense. Low energy-density foods and nutrient-dense foods are often the same. Good examples include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and dairy, fatty fish, whole grains, nuts and seeds. These foods will supply the energy you need to climb stairs for longer periods of time and recover from your workouts more quickly so that you can lose weight and reduce the size of your stomach.
Strength train two days per week targeting all your major muscle groups. Your legs will get a good workout while climbing stairs, but strength training will further encourage lean muscle mass gain which will increase your resting metabolic rate. This will help you burn fat not only in your belly, but also in other areas of your body even while you are at rest.