Is Running Up and Down Stairs Good Cardio

The problem with repeating the same cardio routine is that you may feel like you aren't getting much from it. You know it's time to switch things and try different cardio exercises when you reach this point.

Luckily, you can achieve this by stair running. But the big question remains, is running up and down stairs good cardio?

If you have a stair at home, then you can get underway immediately; if not, you can always try stair running outdoors in a less crowded area. The benefits from this kind of exercise are immense, and it's the best way to achieve explosive raw power, cardio, coordination, core body strength, and balance.

The best part is that there is no need for equipment; it's free because all it takes is carrying your body weight up a flight of stairs.

Here are other reasons why you should start running up the stairs.

Healthy Heart

According to a study by the American Council on Exercise —ACE, running up the stairs can help improve your cardiovascular system as it helps move oxygen and blood faster around the body.

Running up a flight of stairs is tasking and will make your heart beat at a higher pace making your heart adapt to this kind of explosiveness for longer periods.

The heart expands when blood runs fast through the body, making it pump more blood and oxygen. The quicker your blood travels through your body, the more it pushes out carbon dioxide and gets in the fresh oxygen, which is good for your body.

Stair running is intensive and will increase your heart rate faster, making you achieve cardiovascular fitness within a short period of constant training.

Burning Calories

running stairs workout for weight loss

Stair running engages various leg muscles including glutes, quadriceps, hamstring, and calves, with each step. Because you carry your weight using your leg muscles, it is a far more gratifying exercise than running on a level platform.

In addition, if you are heavy, your muscles will work harder and, in the process, burn more calories faster.

Sculpts and Tones the Body

A stair workout targets all the problem areas in your body, making them tight and firm. These areas include the bum, tummy, thighs, abs, and calves.

In addition, because it mostly relies on your weight, it will also help improve your bone strength.

Stair running is an efficient way of exercising indoors or outdoors, especially for people that don’t have time to go to the gym.

Low Impact Exercise

climbing 10 flights of stairs a day

Running up a flight of stairs doesn’t have much risk or impact on your joints, knees, or ankles. If you are running using the correct posture and technique or don’t have any preexisting joint complications, then it’s among the safest ways to exercise.

You can choose to run explosively up the stairs or just climb them without breaking a sweat, and you will still get the best workout.

In addition, you can combine stair running with other exercises like skipping, walking, weight training, or jogging to get positive results.

Stair climbing doesn’t require a superior fitness level, and you can start at any point of your life and reap the immense benefits.


You have seen that running up the stairs improves your body’s fitness and health, and it’s much fun and easier to start. But is running up and down stairs good cardio? You also have to understand the impact of running downstairs.

When you are on your way down, your leg muscles contract causing tension, and at the same time, they also stretch. If this action continues, you may suffer micro muscle tears, which may elevate to injury.

In contrast, running up the stairs is a suitable recovery method from regular running, as each step shortens arc movement as the muscles contract.

As a precaution, you should avoid running down the stairs and use that time to catch your breath before starting the next rep.

Remember, stair climbing workouts are about quality rather than quantity, and you can achieve more within 30 minutes than you would in an hour of level running.

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