Climbing stairs can help older adults stay healthy.
Stairs have long been considered good exercise.
Perhaps you played a sport where your coaches had you run stairs for conditioning.
Think stadium or field house stairs.
Maybe you have seen or used a “stair-stepper” at the local gym.
Even if you have never been to a gym or played organized sports, you likely have seen the iconic scene from Rocky where Sylvester Stallone ran up the steps in Philadelphia for his training.
According to a recent Livestrong article titled “Want to Age Well? This Everyday Activity Improves Balance and Prevents Falls,” climbing stairs is not only good for athletic training.
Simply walking up stairs has numerous health benefits for daily living and for healthy aging.
How does walking up stairs improve health?
It Builds Lower-Body Strength.
Simply walking up a staircase utilizes numerous joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the leg.
Climbing the stairs allows you to move you ankles, hips, knees, calves, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and foot muscles.
It Helps You Maintain Mobility.
Stair climbing keep joints primed by allowing them to move through their full range of motion.
Hips, ankles, and knees are all involved in the motion of walking up steps, making it a dynamic exercise.
These movements all demand balance, power, and strength.
It Increases Your Cardiovascular Fitness.
Climbing stairs works out the heart and increases aerobics capacity.
A February 2017 study in the International Conference on Movement, Health and Exercise corroborated this statement.
When comparing groups of individuals who walked one mile on a treadmill to those who ascended seven floors twice a day for five days a week for one month, those who climbed the stairs demonstrated better cardiovascular improvement.
It Improves Bone Density.
Bone density decreases with age.
This is especially true for women.
Weight-bearing exercises like stair climbing forces the body to work against gravity and makes the bones stronger.
By walking up steps, you can reduce the risk of developing brittle and weak bones characteristic of osteoporosis.
Although exercise in general can improve health for aging individuals, climbing stairs is efficient as it addresses a variety of possible ailments.
You may not be Rocky Balboa, but if you want to keep climbing stairs as you age, then start (and keep) climbing them now.
Reference: Livestrong (July 17, 2022) “Want to Age Well? This Everyday Activity Improves Balance and Prevents Falls”