Struggling to finish the crossword these days? Boost your brainpower effortlessly—just take a stroll up the stairs! The cognitive benefits of climbing stairs are for everyone! Just walk up 2 flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator! In the car park, at work, at the shopping mall, there are so many opportunities every day to take those 2 little flights of stairs. This is a great habit to develop and enjoy the benefits for many years!
How Much is Enough?
It is generally thought that physical activity adds to concentration by getting blood circulating to the brain, but what has not been clear is just how much exercise is needed to benefit and achieve the cognitive benefits to boost brainpower.
Recent research unveils the cognitive benefits of climbing just 2 flights of stairs, enhancing problem-solving and creativity. The best results were seen in those who climbed 2 flights, not the full 8 flights as required in the study.
The Japanese team said “Contrary to the prevalent emphasis on higher-intensity activities for cognitive benefits, our findings suggest that very light-intensity activities may also offer significant advantages.”
Keep it Up!
Regular use of the stairs not only boosts brainpower but also slashes the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Embrace these light activities for significant cognitive perks—no need for intense workouts!
SIMPLE Benefits of climbing the Stairs
- No special gym equipment is needed
- Stair climbing over the whole day can add up, like counting steps taken, same for the stairs!
- If you have climbed only 2 flights of stairs per day, over the year you will have contributed to losing nearly 3kg of weight! (Better than putting on that same amount of weight!)
- Climbing the stairs can help you build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.
- Simply walking up and down the stairs will give you all these great benefits, but if you want to add some crazy arm movements or squats or go at a faster pace, you can elevate the benefits acquired.
Is Going Up the Stairs the Same as Coming Down?
You may think that going up the stairs is more beneficial because it burns more calories, well this is true, you do burn more calories! You only burn about 1/3 of the calories going down the stairs. But there is more to stair climbing than just burning calories, going down the stairs adds different benefits to your health and here is why.
Going up a flight of stairs is a concentric movement, and going downstairs is eccentric. An eccentric movement is where muscles are in a lengthened state. Each time you step down onto the step below, your quadriceps muscles lengthen to move your leg to the next platform. Research shows that eccentric training leads to more muscle growth. Each time your foot strikes the step below, it jars the bone in your leg when it hits the step. This provides some stimulus for bone growth, just as high-impact exercise does.
The results? Contrary to what you might think, you can experience greater improvements in health markers going down the stairs as opposed to climbing flights of stairs.
i) bone mineral density increased ii) improved balance (Unless you hold on to the side rails, going down stairs) iii) drop in resting heart rate and blood pressure.
Maybe going downstairs is harder than it seems! At the least, it offers some unexpected health benefits.
So, as climbing stairs is accessible to most people, get going. climbing up the stairs works your glutes, but you’re working your quads when you go down a flight of stairs and it all helps your cognitive benefits to boost your brainpower, which is where we started!
Just remember, even though you are climbing the stairs now, don’t make this your only source of exercise, it is a great addition to reaching a more active lifestyle with great benefits,