Stair climbing is a cardio exercise that burns calories and tones your muscles, including your hip muscles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that healthy adults incorporate at least two and half hours of cardio each week in their fitness routine. Stair climbing helps you fulfill this requirement easily as you can do it at home or anywhere with a flight of steps. Your hips will thank you for years to come.
Stair climbing gets your heart pumping, which is how you know you're burning calories. A consistent stepping routine helps you control your weight or lose excess weight. A 150-pound woman burns about seven calories per hour while climbing stairs. This translates to 420 calories burned in one hour. Stay at a moderate pace throughout your workout and don't take breaks or your calorie burn will be lower. If you find it boring to climb stairs for a full hour, combine your stair climbing with other forms of cardio for the most benefit.
Each time you take a step up or down, your hip muscles activate. Over time, this repeated activation makes your hip muscles stronge, while also building your endurance. Strengthening occurs because working your muscles results in tiny tears in the fibers. As the damage heals, your muscles gain in strength and mass. Take a day of rest between each hip workout, which gives your body time to recover and heal.
As women get older, their bones tend to lose density. Even if you're still young, taking measures to protect your bones makes sure they serve you well for the long haul. Climbing stairs is a weight bearing exercise, which means it places impact on your hip bones, causing them to build in density and get stronger.
Stair Climbing Routine
The occasional run up and down the stairs isn't going to do much for your hips: You need to create a consistent routine. That doesn't mean you have to climb the stairs for hours at a time each week. Spread your exercise out through the week to keep your metabolism going. Combine stair climbing with other forms of cardio for a well-rounded workout that benefits your hips as well as your whole body.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.