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Exercise and Fitness

Stair climbing

05/29/2008

Question:

I`m a 73-year-oldmale. I walk a mile daily. In summer it is too hot in Phoenix to do this outdoors at any hour, day or night. I don`t want to burn gasoline to drive somewhere to exercise. We have a long indoor stairway (indoors, cool!) leading to our basement. To what extent would stairclimbing replace walking? I can see aerobic benefits. Would it be hard on my knees? Any suggestions are most welcome.

Answer:

Stair climbing in your house is a great alternative to beating the Arizona heat. The stairs will help you burn calories while strengthening your bones and muscles.  Yes, stair climbing is harder than walking.  With each step you're lifting your body weight with one leg vertically against gravity, so it is very important that you maintain good form and balance.  Make sure to stand upright with your hands lightly on the hand rails.  The hand rails are there for balance and your safety.  While climbing you will also want to maintain a comfortable pace to prevent any injury.  Best of luck on your venture!

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Response by:

Jayme   Johnson, MS Jayme Johnson, MS
Program Manager
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati