How Many Flights of Stairs Is a Good Workout?

A lot of people think that they need to go to the gym to get a good workout in, but that’s not always the case. You can get a great workout by doing something as simple as taking the stairs. But how many flights of stairs should you do to get a good workout?

Benefits of Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is an excellent form of exercise that can help to improve your physical and mental health. The physical benefits include increased strength and cardiovascular endurance, increased bone density, and improved balance. Additionally, stair climbing can help you reduce stress and improve your mood. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a stair climbing workout.

Increased cardiovascular endurance

Climbing stairs is a great way to improve cardiovascular health and endurance. Since it is an aerobic activity, stair climbing elevates your heart rate, allowing your body to build up the oxygen levels in your cells and muscles more quickly. Over time, this builds up your endurance so that you can sustain a higher intensity exercise for longer. Stair climbing also increases the muscle’s ability to use stored fat as an energy source. Additionally, stair climbing has been shown to reduce stress by releasing endorphins into the bloodstream, helping you to feel more relaxed and focused for the rest of the day.

Improved muscle strength

Climbing stairs can have a variety of health benefits, one of them being improved muscle strength in your legs, calves and glutes. When you climb stairs, muscular contractions occur throughout your lower body as different muscles contract in coordination with each other to provide power and stability as you move up the stairs. Regular stair climbing helps to strengthen these muscles over time, enhancing your physical performance for all types of activities. The stronger the muscles become, the more energy you’ll have for daily tasks and athletic pursuits alike. Additionally, strong leg and glute muscles help to prevent injuries from everyday activities like walking or running and enhance postural support to minimize muscle fatigue in the lower back area.

Increased calorie burn

Stair climbing is one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do and it offers several health benefits. One of the primary benefits of stair climbing is that it increases your calorie burn. By walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator, you will burn more calories than with most other types of exercise, making it an ideal workout for anyone who has limited time. As you climb more flights, your caloric burn will increase even further. On average, a person walking up and down three flights of stairs will burn around 10 calories per minute and this intensity level can be sustained for a longer period than with many other exercises. Thus burning more calories in less time compared to other exercises while helping to strengthen your leg muscles, increase heart rate and improve overall endurance levels.

How Many Flights of Stairs Is a Good Workout?

Climbing stairs is an excellent way to get your heart rate up and give your body a good workout. It’s easy to do and you can do it anywhere – in a stairwell in your house or apartment building, at a local park, or in a shopping mall. The question is – how many flights of stairs is a good workout? In this article, we will look at the benefits of climbing stairs, as well as how many flights of stairs is considered an effective workout.


For those relatively new to exercise, taking the stairs can be an effective way to begin a routine that can include anything from walking and jogging to running or other more intense activities. When it comes specifically to stair climbing, some studies have found that beginners may experience significant health benefits from just 10 minutes of stair climbing. As such, for beginners a good workout could be walking up 6-8 flights of stairs (approximately 14 minutes and 20 seconds for the ascent) with 1 or 2 minutes of rest in between sets.

After completing this workout several times per week, with adequate rest between sessions, individuals should consider adding additional flights of stairs each session. Doing so will allow beginners to build endurance and strength while focusing on proper form and pacing themselves throughout the climbs. No matter your fitness level – it’s important to strive for quality movement patterns and posture while taking steps rather than focusing solely on speed. Eventually as fitness levels progress, longer periods of time at higher intensities can be incorporated into one’s fitness routine.


When it comes to stair workouts, there are several levels of difficulty that can help you improve your physical fitness. For an intermediate-level workout, aim for three to five flights of stairs. An effective workout requires that you:

• Start slowly and increase your intensity gradually as your level of fitness improves
• Climb at least three flights, but preferably five or more flights at a time
• Take breaks between each set of stairs to help regulate your breathing and recover some of your energy
• Increase the speed: While the initial number of stairs should be leisurely paced, over time, increase the speed at which you climb
• Include a cool-down: Once finished, walk down the stairs or take a few minutes for low impact movements like calf raises or toe taps to allow your heart rate to return to a resting state.

Following these tips can help you reap the full benefits of stair exercises and achieve desired results in terms of conditioning and improving overall health.


For those looking for a more challenging workout, climbing several flights of stairs can be a great way to increase your muscle strength and aerobic fitness. Advanced-level stair climbers can try to increase the intensity of their workouts, climbing faster or carrying weights. Generally, each 15 to 20 minutes of vigorous stair climbing is considered a good workout.

Climbing up and down one flight of stairs (10-12 steps) is equivalent to roughly 1 floor or 15 feet in height and also equates to approximately 10 calories burned. Climbing five flights equal around 60 calories burned, depending on the individual’s weight and speed at which they climb. To increase the intensity for an advanced level of workout it is recommended that when you climb lower body weights should be used such as ankle weights or weighted vests. Weights like these will add intensity and help build both your lower body strength as well as your cardiovascular health in shorter amounts of time spent on stairs.

How many flights of stairs should you do for an advanced workout? This depends entirely on how fit you are and what kind of workout you want to achieve. If you want a very intense workout then 20-30 flights may be ideal for you, but if this seems too much then start with smaller increments such as 5 flights at a time until your body becomes accustomed to that level of intensity before gradually increasing it each session until full endurance capacity is achieved.

Safety Tips

Stair climbing is a great way to get an effective workout in a short amount of time. It is an aerobic exercise that can boost your cardiovascular health and help you burn calories. However, it is important to remember to take safety precautions when climbing stairs since stair climbing can be dangerous if not done properly. In this section, we’ll cover some safety tips to keep in mind when doing stair climbing.

Wear appropriate shoes

Wearing the right footwear is important in any physical activity, but it is especially important when exercising on stairs. Choose shoes that provide both stability and cushioning. Look for snug-fitting, lightweight shoes with good arch support to help keep your feet in a neutral position and protect your joints. Make sure the shoe is appropriate for the type of exercising you are doing and invest in quality orthopedic running shoes if you intend to do a lot of stairs workouts. Additionally, be sure to wear socks to protect your feet from blisters and friction.

Take frequent breaks

Whether you decide to take the stairs for exercise or the elevator for safety reasons, it is important to take frequent breaks. When taking the stairs for exercise it is important to monitor your exertion level. If you feel any pain or tightness in your chest, stop immediately and rest. If the pain doesn’t go away, seek medical help.

It is also important to stay properly hydrated and have a source of fluids nearby. This will prevent you from getting dehydrated while working out and make sure that your body has what it needs to recover quickly afterwards. A good rule of thumb is to drink 1-2 cups of fluid 15 minutes before exercising and another cup every 30 minutes during exercise.

When taking the elevator instead of stairs consider increasing intensity over short periods rather than staying on one floor for too long. Do this by moving with purpose or doing a few exercises such as squats or lunges between floors until reaching your destination floor. Even if you are going up several floors at once, pausing every two floors or so can provide a break from continuous intensity and help make it easier on your body while still giving you an effective workout.

Warm up and cool down

It’s important to take the time to warm up and cool down properly before and after a flight of stairs workout. Taking five minutes to slowly increase your heart rate with stretching or low-impact exercises may help you avoid injuries. You should also focus on dynamic stretches that target the exact muscles you’ll use during your workout. Afterward, walking slowly for another five minutes and performing static stretches such as downward facing dog or cobra pose can help reduce soreness and inflammation.

Alternatives to Stair Climbing

Climbing stairs is an effective exercise that can help you get into shape quickly. It helps to build endurance and strength, and it activates several major muscle groups. But if climbing stairs isn’t your thing, there are alternatives that can give you a similar workout without having to make the trek up and down a set of stairs. In this article, we will explore different ways to get a good stair-climbing workout without actually having to climb any stairs.

Jump rope

Jump rope can be an effective, low-impact cardio workout for those looking for an alternative to climbing the stairs. Not only does it burn calories and help shed the pounds, but it also helps with your fine motor skills, coordination, balance and agility. Jumping rope is one of the most common activities during a cross-training workout. It’s also portable and requires no equipment — all you need is a sturdy rope.

When it comes to jumping rope as an alternative to stair climbing, the key is in understanding how intense an impact you want your exercise session to be; this largely depends on how much time you devote to each activity. For beginners or those who are not physically active, try starting out by jumping in two-minute intervals — more than enough time to get your heart rate up while at the same time allowing rest periods between jumps. If you’re more advanced, jump continuously for 10 minutes or more with short rest periods in between sets of jumps. The intensity of your session should reflect not only your fitness level but also how much time you have available.

As with any exercise routine involving cardiovascular activities such as step aerobics or running sprints outdoors, constant practice and improvement will be necessary before attempting any difficult challenges such as fast feet drills or double unders (with a weighted jump rope). But even if you don’t become extremely proficient at using the rope, simply jumping continuously can help keep your heart rate elevated and increase aerobic stamina — no stair climbing needs required!

Step aerobics

Step aerobics is a popular form of aerobic exercise that provides an aerobic workout using an adjustable platform (the step). You can vary the height of the step and the intensity of the movements to increase or decrease your workout. The basic moves typically used in step aerobics are quite simple: stepping on and off the platform, then combining those steps with various arm and leg movements that raise your heart rate for increased cardio benefits. Stepping can be done in class settings with multiple people or on your own at home. There are variations like hi-lo, which is more advanced, where you incorporate fast-paced steps for intervals between traditional stepping patterns. Step aerobics provides a great opportunity to get a thorough full body workout in a short amount of time — it can provide excellent benefits in terms of fitness levels and muscle tone!


Elliptical machines are popular alternatives to stair climbing for a good workout due to its low impact, overall body workout and a great calorie burner. Ellipticals are easy on the joints and offer forward and backward movements. With a smooth gliding motion, it simulates running or walking but with less stress and strain on the joints. This is an ideal form of aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate without putting too much pressure on your body. Depending on the resistance setting you use while exercising, ellipticals can help you build strength as well as help you with weight loss goals. It is possible to burn up to 600 calories in an hour by using these machines in various levels of intensity. Some even come equipped with a heart rate monitor that can track distance, level of resistance, speed, etc. Ellipticals are great for all levels of fitness because they can be adjusted according to how intensive of a workout you want it to be.


In conclusion, stair climbing is a great way to improve your cardio health and burn calories. The number of flights of stairs you climb will depend on your current level of fitness, how much time you have available for exercise, and the intensity at which you prefer to climb. Incorporating stair climbing into your weekly exercise routine is a great way to improve overall fitness and wellbeing. It’s important to start slowly, build up gradually and always consult with your doctor before beginning any new workout regime.

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