Monday, June 14, 2010

Alternative Gym Equipment: STAIRS

It is possible to use a set of stairs (indoor or outside) as a gym equipment.

Stairs may be used to tone legs, for a cardiovascular workout, and to perform calf-toning exercises, all without gym equipment.

Gyms usually have StairMasters and StairClimbers for cardiovascular exercise. You probably pass by a set of stairs at some point in your day. For anyone who does not suffer from ankle or knee injuries or chronic conditions that cause joint pain, they can use an ordinary pair of stairs to exercise.

Stairs as Gym Equipment in Everyday Life

One way to use stairs as gym equipment is to "take the stairs" whenever you can. Stop riding in elevators two and three times a day. Make the hike up the one, two, five, or more sets of stairs to your destination. This extra boost will help tone your lower body, and burn some calories that you could never burn in the elevator.

Tone Calf Muscles Without the Use of Gym Equipment

An ordinary set of stairs, or even just one stair can be used to tone calf muscles. You do not need to use gym equipment like the Standing Calf Machine in order to tone your calves.

Simply step on the edge of a stair, holding on to a railing for support. Place only the toes and the ball of the foot on the stair. Slowly lower one heel as far as you can. It is a small movement, but you will feel it right away. Slowly bring the heel back level with the stairs. Repeat on the other foot. Do 20 to 30 repetitions two or three days a week.

Stairs as Cardiovascular Gym Equipment

A set of ordinary stairs may also be used for cardiovascular exercise. Even when you do not have access go stair-like gym equipment. When you have access to an indoor set of stairs, walk up and down them as many times as you can in 15 minutes. Take you time, it's not a race.

Take each stair slowly, maintaining balance, and focusing on the motion of walking up and down the steps. As with any exercise, performed with or without gym equipment, stop if you feel dizzy or any cramping.

Be sure to walk it off when you are done.

An outdoor set of stairs can also be used for cardiovascular exercise. Use an outdoor set of stairs for walking or running, if you are coordinated and athletic enough to do that without missing any steps.

Another way to use steps as gym equipment is to make each stair step more of a lunge, by skipping a step. Your hips will already have to be somewhat flexible to do this move.

The idea to using an ordinary set of stairs as gym equipment is to see exercise in your everyday life. It does not take expensive gym equipment to be a healthy and fit person.

author:  Pam Gaulin