Do you have ten minutes to do something good for your heart this month? Researchers at McMaster University in Canada say a quick stair climb three times a week offers heart health benefits similar to those gained by working out on a fitness bike.
Kinesiology Professor Dr. Martin Gibala and his team followed more than two dozen women for six weeks. Participants completed three 10-minute workout sessions each week, involving either stair climbing or using an exercise bike.
At the end of the study, researchers determined that the short bursts of stair climbing improved cardiorespiratory fitness—a measurement linked to heart health and longevity—just as well as cycling. Study authors refer to stair climbing as a type of sprint interval training, which involves short, high-intensity workouts with low-intensity recovery periods.
While not everyone has a fitness bike, most folks can find a set of stairs—whether at the office, at the park or even right at home—which makes the activity a simple way to support heart health during the week. “Interval training offers a convenient way to fit exercise into your life, rather than having to structure your life around exercise,” said Dr. Gibala in a recent news release.