Running up and down a stairwell is a great workout but it can get stale quickly. Stair exercises can shake the boredom up while also challenging the lower body even more. Add to that it's also a no-excuse workout — all you have to do is show up! Whether it's at your local park, office, or apartment building, we are pretty certain there is a stairwell near you. Learn these five easy moves and get ready to make the most of your next excursion to the park!
If the weather outside isn't cooperating with your idea to go for a run, hike, or bike ride, then you can still get in a good workout indoors. Believe it or not, you have something in your home that's just as good as a treadmill and weight room — the stairs. Crank up your favorite workout playlist and keep an eye on the clock, repeating this six-minute circuit five times through:
- One minute of running up and down the stairs
- One minute of triceps dips, resting your hands on the second or third step
- One minute of forward lunges, alternating between stepping the right foot on the first step, and then the left; make it harder by doing bicep curls with a set of dumbbells
- One minute of double leg jumps, starting on the floor, jumping both feet onto the first step, and then jumping back to the floor
- One minute of push-ups, elevating your feet on the first, second, or third step; if this is too difficult, then elevate your hands instead
- One minute of side squats, elevating your right foot on the first step for 30 seconds, then repeating on the left side for 30 seconds; make it more challenging by doing overhead shoulder presses with a set of dumbbells
Repeat this six-minute circuit four more times for a 30-minute workout.
One of the first places eager parents try to babyproof is the staircase. And while stair-related injuries to kids dropped 11.6 percent from 1999 to 2008, a child is still treated for injuries that occur on or near their household stairs every six minutes. For infants, 25 percent of the injuries occur when mom and dad are carrying the tot down the stairs.
According to a new report in a March 12 article from Pediatrics, US homes are not designed with safety in mind, and parents — especially those with children under 5 years old, as they tend to spend more time at home — need to make some big changes and make them quickly. Keep reading to see the three most important things parents can do to make their home staircase more safe.
The first thing I wanted to change after moving into our home in 2009 was the banister. It was this unappealing light wood color that didn't match. The wood itself had been neglected for some time. Most of the original varnish had worn off. Instead of spending tons of money replacing the whole thing, I went to work on it myself. After more hours than I can count, spent sanding, staining and painting I had a beautiful new banister for under $60 dollars!
Sure I can take the stairs when the elevator is broken, but when it comes to stair-climbing to burn extra calories, I'm a bit of a wimp. You see, stairs sort of scare me. Once you start going up a big flight, you know you have to keep going, and the intensity can be overwhelming. Stair climbing is intense because you're carrying your body weight against gravity. And if you take the stairs two at a time — which is basically like combining the StairMaster and lunges — you'll really feel the burn in your hamstrings, glutes, quads, and booty. And those calories? A 130-pound person can burn around 400 calories by running up stairs for just 30 minutes.
Do you ever explore public steps in your city or neighborhood? Here in San Francisco, there are so many amazing outdoor steps to climb that I know I need to just lace up, stop whining, and start putting them to the cardio test. Not only is climbing stairs good for you, but going down stairs is beneficial as well because it reduces blood-sugar levels more than walking uphill. The only downside of going down is that it can be hard on your knees because your leg muscles are in an eccentric or lengthened position, which can strain the knee joint.
A friend recently passed along this video from The Fun Theory that documents the following experiment: will more people take the stairs over an escalator by making it fun to do? The group turns a set of stairs in a busy Stockholm metro station into a working piano — the idea being that making things fun can help change people's behavior for the better. Was it a success? Check out the video.
I thought that the concept was pretty cool, and it was fun to watch how a set of musical stairs made people excited during their commute. After seeing the video, some of my friends had quite a different opinion, notably: "It's a pretty sad state of affairs when we have to make taking the stairs 'fun.' Are people really that lazy, because I can think of about 100 other things where that money is more needed."
I love making fitness fun, but does my friend make a valid point?
All over California, from San Francisco to the hills of LA, you can find hidden staircases in hilly neighborhoods. Climbing stairs is an easy way to add some cardio to your walk, and it can even prolong your life!
While visiting a friend in Los Angeles last weekend, we made a point to go on a long, winding, and scenic walk through the Hollywood hills, hitting as many staircases as possible. They're located in Beachwood Canyon, just south of the famous Hollywood sign.
I promised my Beachwood Canyon-dwelling friend that I wouldn't disclose the stairways' exact locations, but they aren't too tough to find with a quick Google search. And if you're a California resident or visitor, be sure to check out stairways in an area you're visiting (there's even an iPhone app for San Francisco's hidden stairways!
Check out the details of my hike!
Aside from junkyard garages, basements, and attics, stairwells are probably the most overlooked areas of the home. It's understandable, seeing as our priorities tend to lie in the places where we spend our time, like living rooms and kitchens, rather than the ones we just pass through. But staircases also happen to be one of the easiest spaces to decorate! With a can of paint, a roll of wallpaper, or even some tiles, you can instantly transform the bland, neglected area into a statement-making one. Check out these 10 ways to spice up your staircase!
Are you over the whole decal craze? Yeah, I kind of am, too. But these playful staircases have me thinking about giving it another try. When a plain entryway could use a little dressing up, a simple and creative solution is to put a few sticky studs on a staircase. Counting your way upstairs or skipping over zebra print makes for a much more enjoyable trip than blank wooden slats. Don't you think?
"I love doing the stairs. Sit ups. I thinks that's the easiest thing to do every morning and every night."
—Hills star Stephanie Pratt on her favorite workout. Stephanie told Us Magazine that she also keeps an elliptical machine in her living room so she can work out whenever she's watching TV — even if it's just for 10 minutes at a time.
Stephanie's secret for bikini season? Sally Hansen's Sparkle Legs. "You spray it and mix it with lotion and your legs look perfect . . . it's amazing. It totally hides cellulite and everything!"