Stair climbing is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to get an excellent aerobic workout, no matter what your fitness level. If you do two minutes of stair climbing—that's a couple of flights—five or six times a day, in eight short weeks you can:
Having a climbing "buddy" during training is much more fun and can be extremely motivating. The same is true for the Story by Story® event—you will enjoy the climb more if you are surrounded by people you know and like. And you will surprise yourself with how quickly you can reach the rooftop (and achieve your fundraising goal).
Before climbing, you should warm up by performing some active stretching, such as marching in place, light jogging and easy squats. These stretches will increase blood flow to your hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles and prepare your legs for the big climb. Keep in mind that the warm up should not be vigorous as to cause any fast breathing or muscle fatigue. During the Story by Story opening ceremony, Adrian Tellado (Evolution Pro Fitness) will lead all climbers in some brief warm-up exercises.
Increasing your exercise routine to build strength and endurance is the ultimate goal, but be patient. Research indicates that increasing your activity by 10% every week is an appropriate guideline. Each session should take about 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week. Be sure to space out these three days throughout the week to give your body a chance to rest and recover between efforts.
Incorporate training sessions in a real stairwell into your program. Use the stairs in the subway system, at work or in your apartment building. Or take advantage of the great outdoor spaces in New York City, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art's staircase entrance or Central Park's Bethesda Terrace stairs. The next-best option is to use a rotating stepping machine if you have access to a gym or health club.
Like most cardiovascular exercising, stair climbing requires a basic foundation of strength. Predominately the lower body muscles are worked, including quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, hip flexors and calves. Squats, lunges, leg extensions, leg curls, hip abduction, hip adduction and calf raises are all examples of exercises to target the muscles working during stair climbing. As a general rule, each muscle that you train should be rested one to two days before being exercised further in order for the fatigued muscles to rebuild. Your body will adapt to strength training, and will reduce in body soreness each time you work out.
With good movement mechanics and proper footwear, stair climbing will not cause excessive wear on your bones and joints. Proper stair climbing posture means: