Fitness fad or faux pas?

Several people are now wearing headphones and simply heading to the staircase at their apartment instead of the gym. They say that climbing five to 20 flights of stairs helps them get fit when they do not have the time to go to the gym. 

Says Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma, a freelance writer, “I climb anywhere between 5 and 25 flights of stairs every day. I live in a six-storey apartment and after I stretch in the morning, I begin my climbing exercise. As I live on the third floor, I get down, climb to the sixth floor and get down again and climb back. I think, it’s a good exercise.”

Ruchika Sharma, too, follows the routine. Says the celebrity chef, “I live in a eight-storey apartment. I climb the stairs with my son or my friends. We talk while doing it, so it’s not just an exercise, but a way for us to bond. I have a hectic schedule and travel a lot too. So when I am living in a hotel, I exercise by taking the stairs there as well.”

Celebrity fitness trainer Kunal Gir climbs 18 flights of stairs at his Lanco Hills apartment which has 30 floors. He says, “I climb 18 flights of stairs at my apartment every day. However, it’s not about how many stairs you climb, but how quickly you climb them. The workout density has to be high in this exercise or it would be of no use. Even if you take few stairs, do it rapidly.”

Kunal, who trains the likes of Ranbir Kapoor and Rana Daggubati, adds, “It is a good exercise. If it motivates you to get off your couch and burn calories, then why not make it a part of your exercise routine? The best part is that you don’t need to go to the gym and can exercise at your apartment.”

Another person who swears by the exercise is city-based model Sharon Rose. She says, “I do stair-climbing at my apartment to tone my lower body. Sometimes when I am travelling and do not have the time to go to a gym, I exercise using the stairs. It’s simple and beneficial.”

So the next time the lift at your office or apartment doesn’t work, you might as well begin exercising. Says celebrity fitness expert Batul Khan, “Climbing 20 flights of stairs can benefit your body, but never get down the stairs as you may strain your knees. Use an elevator. If your climbing intensity is low, do the exercise for 40 minutes, but if your intensity is high, go for 20 minutes,” she says.

Avid runner and fitness enthusiast Babita Xavier also climbs the stairs often. “It’s a good exercise, but you should know the right way to do it or you’ll only end up hurting your back and knees. Keep your back upright, chin and head up when climbing. The alignment of your body has to be straight and never crouch. Also, land on the ball of your feet first. It’s fatal if done in a wrong way,” says Babita. 

Doctors, too, warn about its side effects. Says Dr Gurava Reddy, a world renowned orthopaedic surgeon and MD of Sunshine Hospitals, “The heart beats like it never does in a gym and your breathing increases when you climb stairs, however, it is not a full-body exercise. It benefits only the heart and the lungs and damages your back and knees. Biomechanically, it is harmful to the knees. As a knee surgeon, I would not suggest this exercise at all. Every time you take stairs, four times of your body weight is exerted on your knees. What’s the point of an exercise that benefits your heart and lungs, but harms your knees and back? Go for brisk walking or swimming, they benefit your entire body.” 

Source: Health – Google News

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