Posted on Feb 15, 2017, 6 a.m.
Too busy for the gym? Researchers find that short, intense stair climbing has a surprising amount of health benefits.
Everyone knows the health benefits that come with physical activity, but when asked, most people use one of two common excuses. The first is time, as in "I just don’t have enough time in my day", and the second is place, as in, "There’s no gym near me".
Researchers have put both of those excuses to rest. A study at McMaster University conducted two separate protocols with female participants, divided into two groups. All the women were healthy but admittedly not active. Each group was asked to exercise in short 10 minute sessions three times a week for a period of six weeks. Each session included a warm up and cool down.
In the first experiment one group was asked to climb stairs aggressively in 20 second intervals, while the second group was asked to simply ride an exercise bike for the same length of time. Results showed that the short 20 second bursts of stair climbing were more effective than the exercise bike.
In the second experiment the women were asked to climb stairs for 60 second intervals. As in the first experiment, participants showed an increase in respiratory fitness.
It would appear that the excuses for not exercising have just gone out the window. Short (10 minutes) intense periods of stair climbing will improve cardiovascular and respiratory heath with leads to all the additional benefits derived from a healthy active lifestyle.
Martin Gibala, author of this study says, "Interval training offers a convenient way to fit exercise into your life, rather than having to structure your life around exercise," Martin has studied high-intensity interval training for more over a decade and recently wrote a book on its effectiveness called "The One Minute Workout.