Climbing to new heights of health

Over recent years our lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary. It can be hard to break the habit of being off our feet all day, but even small incidental bursts of activity can make all the difference.

One of the easiest ways to start incorporating more activity into a sedentary lifestyle is by opting to take the stairs. Climbing 8 flights of stairs per day can decrease the risk of early mortality by non-communicable diseases by 33%. Some other benefits of taking the stairs include:

  • Burns more calories per minute than jogging – climbing stairs is considered vigorous exercise.
  • Helps to control weight and build muscle tone.
  • Raising your heart rate through physical activity helps to protect against the risk of increased blood pressure, clogged arteries and weight gain.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure also lowers the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and vascular dementia.
  • Any kind of physical activity causes the release of endorphins – the ‘feel good’ hormone. This can help with improved mental health and a decrease in stress levels.
  • Exercise makes us fatigued, which helps with sleeping better at night.

Stairs are a great start, but why stop there?
Why not walk up the escalators as well, walk to the local shops instead of driving or if you commute by public transport then get off the bus/train a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way. Small changes like these will lead to big gains and establish good habits for yourself and future generations to pick up on.

Source: This is an edited extract from Climbing to new heights of health available from AFA Care and Benestar,