What Are The Benefits of Running Stairs?

Let’s Discuss the Benefits that can come from Running Stairs

Staying healthy and living the life of your dreams would certainly require some form of physical activity. In fact, several scientific pieces of evidence have shown that those who lead a sedentary lifestyle with little to no exercise are at an increased risk of several serious diseases and disorders like obesity, heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cognitive impairment.1

While most people recognize the importance of regular physical activities, they often find themselves not partaking in one, probably because they are having a difficult time choosing and sticking to an exercise or two. They might also lack the time and energy to constantly be in the gym.

If you are one of these people, picking exercises like stair running could easily be the substitute for other time-consuming workouts you have been looking for. It requires no equipment and can be done literally anywhere and every time.

Perhaps at some point in your life, you must have come across blogs that have encouraged you to take the stairs instead of the elevator. This is a simple but often overlooked advice that can increase your physical activity, tone your thighs, calves, and butt, and increase your energy levels.

Interestingly, when you run stairs, your body uses up to 8-10 times the amount of energy than when it is in the resting stage. This makes stair climbing a vigorous exercise, as it can burn a lot of calories.2

No wonder numerous health benefits have been associated with stair running, including improved lipid profiles, increased aerobic capacity, reduced risk of stroke, lung cancer, and cardiovascular disease, as well as decreased blood glucose in type-2 diabetics.2

Before we get to look at the benefits of running the stairs, let’s see what it all entails.

What is Stair Running?

Just as it sounds, stair running entails running up and down the stairs — whether at home, in your office, or in bigger places like a sports stadium. While it can be done in a brisk manner, running up the stairs at a faster rate increases the intensity of the activity.

However, beginners are often advised to start slowly in the form of a brisk walk before going for full pace. This can reduce the risk of injury and falls.

For most people, the duration of stair running depends on their fitness levels, the time factors, and workout goals. A beginner might only go a few rounds before getting exhausted, but a seasoned runner might easily do several rounds of climbing. Others that are low on time might only get the chance to run up the stairs three to four times daily at work.

Benefits of Running Stairs

Improves your cardiovascular health

Stair running is a cardio or aerobic exercise, which means it can easily get your heart rate up, which pumps blood faster around the body. Aerobic exercises have been well-documented to possess beneficial properties against cardiovascular conditions.

It can lower your body’s resting blood pressure and improve your blood cholesterol profile by increasing the levels of HDL (beneficial) cholesterol and lowering the levels of LDL (harmful) cholesterol in the blood. Generally, when cholesterol builds up in the body, it can clump to artery walls and make them get narrow —  a condition that can lead to heart attack or stroke.3,4

Helps in weight loss

According to ACE’s (American Council on Exercise) fitness calculator, a person that weighs 200 pounds would burn 362 calories in a 30-minute of stair climbing. If the same person decides to jog for 30 minutes, about 317 calories would be burned.5 This means when you climb stairs, you can burn way more calories than when you jog.

This is probably because stair running engages some of the biggest muscles of your body, like the quads, calves, and glutes in your butt.

Strengthens your muscles and bones

Running stairs can activate and make stronger many of the muscles in your body. It can engage the quads in your thighs, the glutes in your butt, and the muscles of your calves. It can also work your core and arms.

Also, the stress exerted upon the bones in our legs as we hit the stairs can make them stronger, which may help prevent conditions like osteoporosis.6

Less impact on joints

Many people might find stair running to have less impact on their knee joints when compared to popular aerobic activities like running. People with conditions like arthritis might find running a bit difficult due to knee joint pains. But with stair climbing, less pressure is applied to such joints.

Improved cognitive performance

Research published in the Frontiers in Psychology Journal found that short periods of intense stair climbing in a naturalistic setting can improve cognitive function, mood, and energy levels in one’s day-to-day activities.7

Decreased risk of metabolic syndrome

Another research published in BMC Public Health Journal has found that daily and regular stair climbing may possess protective effects against metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of symptoms such as high triglyceride and low HDL cholesterol levels, high levels of fasting blood glucose, and high blood pressure. These conditions increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.8

Easily adaptable

Most people think of running as something that you do outdoors, on a flat surface. But running up and down stairs is a great way to get a workout in, too – and it’s much more flexible than other forms of exercise.

You can make stair running as easy or as difficult as you want, depending on how you feel that day. On days when you’re feeling strong, you can really push yourself and get your heart rate up. But on days when you’re not feeling quite so energetic, you can take it easy and just focus on climbing the stairs.

Convenient and free

I don’t know about you, but over here, it’s free to run up and down several stairs without paying a dime. If high cost is what’s stopping you from going to the gym, stair running has got your back.

Besides, it’s so convenient, as you can easily run up and down a stair at home, in the office, or at school, without necessarily having to dedicate a portion of the time you probably don’t have enough of in daily workouts.

Climbing Stairs vs. Running Stairs

If you’re looking for a way to get your heart rate up and improve your cardio, you may be wondering if it’s better to climb stairs or run them. Both exercises have their benefits, so it really depends on what you’re looking for.

Climbing Stairs

Climbing stairs is a great way to build muscle and tone your legs. It’s also low-impact, so it’s easier on your joints than running. If you’re just starting out or are new to exercise, climbing stairs is a great way to get started.

Running Stairs

Running stairs, on the other hand, is a great way to burn calories and get your heart rate up. It’s more high-impact than climbing, so it’s not ideal if you’re new to exercise or have joint issues. But if you’re looking for a challenging workout, running stairs is a great option.

So, which stair workout is better for you? It really depends on your goals and what you’re looking for in a workout. If you want to build muscle and tone your legs, climbing stairs is a great option. If you’re looking for a challenging cardio workout, running stairs is a great way to go.

Conclusion: Using Stair Running as an Intense Exercise is Worth it!

In today’s world, we are always looking for ways to get ahead. We want to be faster, stronger, and better than our competitors. Sometimes, this means that we have to push ourselves harder than ever before. And that’s where stair running comes in.

Stair climbing or running is an intense stair workout exercise that can really help you get ahead of the pack. It’s a great way to build up your speed and endurance, and it can also help you burn calories quickly. Because stair running is a form of interval training, it’s incredibly effective in getting your heart rate up and down very quickly, which allows you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time.

Plus, both stair running and stair climbing are great ways to build muscle. When you run up the stairs, you’re working against gravity, which forces your muscles to work harder. This type of training can help you tone your legs, glutes, and core. It’s also incredible for boosting your cardiovascular fitness.

If you’re looking for a new way to challenge yourself and take your workouts to the next level, stair running, either on literal stairs or on one of those stair climbing exercise machines, is definitely worth considering. It’s an effective and efficient way to exercise, and it’s something that anyone can do.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7700832/

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6359596/

  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31677122/

  4. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-511X-2-3

  5. https://www.acefitness.org/resources/everyone/tools-calculators/physical-activity-calorie-counter

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/exercise-can-help-you-keep-your-bones-strong

  2. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02300/full

  3. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-021-10965-9

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