February 14, 2017

General Physical Activity Guidelines

Include 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week

Regardless of what type of exercises you do, its important to aim for the minimum recommended amount each week. This can include your stair exercises and other forms of exercise.

  • Health professionals recommend that you do about 150 minutes of cardio activities every week, or about 30 minutes five times a week. You can split this up in smaller bouts or larger bouts depending on your schedule.
  • Stair exercises, especially stair running or jogging, are great cardiovascular exercise and can count towards your 150 minutes each week.
  • Although the stair workout here is fantastic for working the leg muscles, and good for cardio if sustained, the back muscles don’t get worked from this. Make sure you include back exercises in your resistance training.
  • Other exercises you can do include: walking, jogging, using the elliptical, dancing or taking an aerobics class.


Do 2 to 3 days of strength training

In addition to cardiovascular exercises, also include a few days of strength training. You don’t need to spend as much time doing these exercises compared to cardio.

  • Health professionals typically recommend that you include at least two days of strength training each week. You need to work every major muscle group and do so for at least 20 minutes.
  • Other strength training exercises you can outside of the stairs include: weight lifting, pilates, or other plyometric exercises.
  • Many of the stair exercises qualify as strength-training exercises, such as lunges, stair jumps, side step ups, push-ups, dips and calf raises. This can help cut down on the overall time you’re working out.


Include stairs as lifestyle activity

One of the great things about using stairs as a form of exercise, is that they can also be used to keep you active during the day. They’re a great tool to increase your lifestyle activity.

  • In addition to incorporating stairs as a form of structured exercise, also focus on increasing your overall lifestyle activity.
  • Studies have shown that lifestyle activities can be as beneficial health-wise as more structured aerobic exercise (like going for a 30 minute walk).
  • Stairs are a great way to increase your lifestyle activity. You can take the stairs to your office instead of the elevator, park higher up in the parking garage and use the stairs or take the stairs more often in your home.


Rest your joints and muscles 1 to 2 days a week

When you’re doing more high-intensity exercises, you’ll need to give your body a rest during the week.

  • Just like it’s recommended to include a certain amount of cardio or strength training exercises during the week, it’s also important to include adequate rest. Allow yourself at least one rest day between leg workouts. If your legs are still very sore or tired, give yourself another day of rest.
  • Rest and recovery allow your body to repair and refuel from all the hard work it did during exercise. Rest days are when your body gains muscle mass and strength.
  • Doing stair exercises can be difficult and physically demanding. Allow your body, muscles and joints to rest in between stair workouts so your body can improve and progress.
  • You should not be completely inactive on rest days — do something restorative and relaxing, like gentle yoga or going for a leisurely walk or bike ride.



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