Run Stairs for Super Strong Legs
There is a very good reason why stairclimber machines are second in popularity to treadmills in gyms when it comes to most-used cardio equipment. Running for distance is great and has its place in any effective cardio workout, but when you’re talking cardio bang for your buck, pretty much nothing is as effective as climbing stairs. Simply walking up flights of stairs can burn as many as 500 calories in an hour and running stairs can burn up to 1000 calories. And don’t discount what climbing stairs will do for your leg muscles and overall strength. If your legs are strong it improves all of your workouts greatly, and running stairs will build and sculpt your muscles tremendously.
If you have a stadium nearby, such as the stands surrounding your local high school football field, you can get a fantastic interval cardio workout by running up and down the stairs between the sections in the stands. You can run up one section, cut across the seats and run down the next stairs, or you can run up, turn around and run back down the same set before moving on to the next set. If you’re looking to really challenge yourself you can even stop at the top and bottom of each set of stairs and do some jumping jacks or pushups. The run up each set of stairs will increase your heart rate and then you bring it back down a bit on the way down.
Once you’ve mastered interval training with some short breaks as you run back down flights of stairs, you may want to up your intensity and try a run that goes straight up. This is great to do in buildings with a lot of floors and many flights up stairs going up to the top. Head to an apartment building, office building or hotel (just make sure you get permission) and run up the building’s interior stairs. Take breaks when you need them and challenge yourself to get all the way to the top.