Stairs Tiring You Out?

by Bea | November 10th, 2011 | Walking

Have you ever noticed that you can walk and walk and walk without losing your breath, but that walking up four flights of stairs can tire you out so easily? I know that is the case for me. All of my classes are on the fourth floor, and in fact, my room is on the fourth floor as well, so I frequently find myself taking the stairs. It always amazes me that I can be so out of breath once I get to the top, but somehow, the stairs always seem to get the best of me.

One would think that as the year went by that I would get used to them, but I can’t really say that this is true. I’m kind  of getting bored of them (to be honest), and I find myself pressing the elevator button more as I walk by to see if the elevator doors will immediately open. If they open, which rarely happens, I “reward” myself with a break from the stairs.

There is a reason why walking up stairs is so much different than walking on a flat surface. The simple answer is “evolution.” We were made to stand up. By walking, we can move with momentum, and we make sure that our weight is taken care of in such a way that makes it easy for us to walk and move; however, when you are walking up a set of stairs, momentum is not going to be able to help you out. Stairs force you to lift your whole body up and the more you weigh, the harder this action gets. Thigh and butt muscles are what you need in order to master a set of stairs. True, your pure muscular strength can get most of the job done, but in order to get up those four flights of stairs without feeling a little out of breath, you will have to get stronger.

Getting to the point where stairs are a breeze will take some time to master. You will need two things: strong muscles and good cardiovascular system. Get some runs in and tackle the stairs whenever you can. It’s more efficient to take the elevator when you are going to a location that is higher than three floors away, but it certainly doesn’t  help your fitness or health!

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