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Walking vs climbing stairs: Which is better for weight loss?


Walking vs climbing stairs: If you are not sure which one will work for weight loss, here’s everything you need to know which one is best for you.

The majority of people have the common objective of losing weight for better health. If you sit for hours in the office then it’s high time to start moving your body to start losing weight which will help you to stay fit and healthy. Walking is considered one of the best weight loss exercises, with climbing stairs being the second one on the list. However, people get confused when choosing between walking or climbing which is better for weight loss. If you have been trying to figure this out, here are the pros and cons of walking vs climbing stairs to help you decide which one is better to help you lose weight.

Is climbing stairs an exercise?

“Climbing stairs is one of the most effective workouts for losing weight, strengthening the lower body, toning the buttocks, thighs, and calves, losing inches from the tummy, and developing strong abs. These staircases can be found outdoors at a park or nearby stadium or in a gym. You can perform this exercise on the steps in your home as well,” says fitness coach Dr Mickey Mehta.

stair exercises
Climbing stairs is a great exercise for weight loss. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the benefits of climbing stairs?

1. Helps to lose weight

If you are looking for an easy and effective way to burn calories, climbing stairs can help you lose weight. A study published in Harvard Health Publishing Journal says that compared to walking on a levelled surface, you can burn calories three times faster by steadily climbing steps.

Also Read: 7 health benefits of climbing stairs daily

2. Improves cardiovascular health

Climbing stairs has the major benefit of enhancing your cardiovascular fitness and performance capacity. Ascending stairs for 30 minutes each week was not only good for cardiovascular health but also increased longevity, according to a study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal.

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3. Enhances leg strength and tones muscles

Climbing stairs engages practically every major muscle in your body. Your lower body will become toned as a result of strengthening your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves throughout this exercise. Regularly ascending stairs strengthens your legs, improving your ability to run, lift big weights, and engage in high-intensity sports like cycling and rowing, as per a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science.

4. Promotes bone and joint health

If you practice climbing stairs every day, your skeletal muscles will get healthier and your joints will become stronger. Stair climbing increases bone metabolism (processes of bone formation and bone resorption) by stretching your large joints and muscles. A study published in the BioMed Research International Journal claims that one of the best exercises you can do to improve bone health is climbing stairs.

Are there any side effects of climbing stairs?

If you have a history of heart problems, taking the stairs might not be the best option. This includes conditions like high blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat (arrhythmia), or chest pain. Climbing stairs can increase your heart rate and strain your cardiovascular system.

Also Read: 7 challenging stair exercises for weight loss you must try!

Is walking an effective weight loss exercise?

Walking is one of the most popular exercises in the world. It offers numerous health benefits and does not require specialised training or expensive equipment. Walking is a cardiovascular physical activity that elevates your heart rate. This can reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow. It increases energy levels by releasing hormones such as endorphins and distributing oxygen throughout the body, as per a study published in Harvard Nutrition Journal.

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What are the benefits of walking?

1. Aids in weight loss

Walking has several major benefits, including weight loss and toning muscles. When you walk, you will sweat. Walking for an extended amount of time also requires energy. However, as walking continues, it progressively relies on stored fats for sustained energy production. This way, the excess fat does not remain in the body. It is instead used for energy and helps in losing weight.

2. Regulates blood pressure levels

High blood pressure is one of the most common health problems in the world. The best method to combat it is by moderate exercise and walking is one of the best exercises you can try. Walking benefits the heart because it lowers blood pressure, which keeps the heart from working too hard, according to a 2018 study published in Peer Journal.

3. Reduces cholesterol levels

“The most common cause of elevated cholesterol levels is excess weight and consuming junk food. Walking helps the body stay in shape. It lowers the likelihood of having elevated cholesterol levels, which ultimately affects your heart. Walking is, therefore, good for promoting heart health,” says the expert.

4. Reduces stress

A study published in the Stress and Health Journal indicates that walking can be a valuable short-term stress management strategy. The study suggests that combining walking with relaxation techniques may further enhance its effectiveness.

woman in stress
Walking every day can help reduce stress. Image courtesy: Freepik

Are there any side effects of walking?

Walking is considered a safe and effective exercise for weight loss in comparison to climbing stairs. It is crucial to consult with your doctor or health professional before incorporating walking exercises into your fitness regimen.

Walking or climbing stairs: Which is effective for weight loss?

Depending on your fitness level, health concerns, or interests, you can choose either one or both of these exercises. People who enjoy climbing stairs do not feel strained, or do not have joint problems might prefer it over walking because it burns calories more efficiently. However, if ascending stairs exhausts you or strains your knees, walking is undoubtedly the best exercise.



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