Stairway to Weight Loss

Subway stairs
Think Oprah!

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been on an elevator and someone gets on to go up only one floor. What is that? (Ok, some of you have your reasons, like you just had foot surgery or you use a walker to get around, or your bunions are killing you and you can’t bear to face the stairs.) I’m gonna go out on a limb though and say that the majority of people elevating just one flight are just plain lazy. (At least I didn’t see any casts, walkers or bursting bunions on the people who I’ve come across.)

It’s because of people like me that I will never take the elevator if I’m going up only one or two floors. (‘It’s one flight!”, I would be yelling in my head at these people, “Take the stairs!” I’m terrible, I know.) I blame such behavior on Oprah of course. She’s always there, on my shoulder, whispering in my ear how I too can have an ‘Ah-ha’ moment and that by making small changes in my life I can achieve the big successes I dream of. Which is why I’m ranting about the stairs, and how by taking them, you’re taking yourself one step closer to your weight loss destiny.

Here a few facts about stair climbing (which will inspire those looking to add some additional caloric burn to their day… which is just about everyone.)

Did you know that:

• Doing 20 minutes of stair climbing can allow you to burn roughly 100 calories. (Now I know that doesn’t sound like much but if you up the intensity, that caloric burn will only become more intense.)

• It’s a great workout for all those lower muscles in the body, like the calves, glutes (that would be your butt), quads, hip flexors and hamstrings.

• Your aerobic capacity increases which is beneficial for your heart, lungs and blood vessels.

• It can reduce the risk of osteoarthritis that primarily affects the knees and the hip. An expert from healthcreeds mentions that pain when walking down the stairs may be caused by an injury or osteoarthritis.

• It can increase your stamina and energy so you can perform everyday activities with ease.

• It strengthens and tones your muscles, and that includes your heart!

• It puts less pressure on your joints than running or jogging on concrete surfaces do.

• And… you can do it anywhere!

Live in a house? You got stairs. Live in an apartment? You got even more stairs! Work in a tall office building? You get the idea. It’s a cheap way to get in a great workout. So start making it a point to find the nearest set of stairs and use them… especially if you’re only going up one floor. (Think little Oprah on your shoulder.)

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo