When I initially started my fitness journey, walking up and down stairs was one of the exercises that helped me get started. As my health improved, walking soon became running. Even now, I still consider running stairs as one of the best workouts to improve my running and cycling.
Running stairs (don’t run down because it can stress the knees and ankles) can help you lose weight and tone the muscles of your legs, while improving your cardiovascular fitness. Best of all, it is an exercise that doesn't require any special equipment or an expensive gym membership. Just go to your local high school stadium or city park.
Running up stairs is an effective way to build strength and endurance. Running stairs targets muscles in your legs and hips. It can work the same muscles as squats and lunges. Stair running also targets the gluteus medius. Basically, it helps you tone muscles throughout your lower body.
A short, high-intensity exercise is just as effective at improving your aerobic fitness as doing cardio at a long, low-intensity. Running stairs is a perfect short, high-intensity exercise. Stairs are like running uphill but harder. Stairs are much steeper than most hills. That’s why climbing a flight of stairs accelerates your heart rate so rapidly and makes you breathe faster to take in more oxygen.
Stair running is superb training especially for running albeit it is tougher than most people realize. Best of all, stair running is FREE so there is no excuse not to give it a try.