People do not just use stair climbers and steppers for fun. These cardio machines offer a variety of valuable benefits that make them worth considering.
Even the more general benefits of stair climbers and steppers can be helpful to keep yourself consistent with your workouts.
1. Stair climbers and steppers can help you lose weight
It is easy to gain excess body fat in modern life. This is unfortunate because it comes with an increased risk of a variety of negative conditions.
Luckily, it is also possible to reverse this process by making it so your body needs more energy than is coming in from the things you eat.
When this happens, you start using up energy stores like body fat. In simpler words, you start losing weight.
One way to get into this situation is by increasing how much energy your body uses with pieces of fitness equipment like stair climbers and steppers.
Exactly how many calories stair climbers burn will depend on a few details but you can make some rough predictions to get an idea.
The average person will burn around 266 to 457+ calories while using stair climbers and steppers at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes.
If you really pick up the pace, you can get more results after your workout by causing something called afterburn.
That aside, you can definitely say helping weight loss is one of the potential benefits of stair climbers and steppers.
Do keep in mind that habits like what you eat still influence your results in this area a lot.
2. Stair climbers are straightforward to use
Some sports, exercises, and pieces of fitness equipment can be challenging to use.
This tends to be a downside since it means you have to spend some time learning before you can start getting the benefits of the activities to the full extent.
That being said, stair climbers and steppers are not that complicated to use since they simulate a movement many people do every day.
Even in terms of balance, stair climbers and steppers usually have you covered by including sturdy handles you can hold.
Some people will also just like the aspect of being able to step on one of these machines and start using them without any complicated instructions to follow.
3. Stair climbers and steppers offer low-impact workouts
It is true that workouts like running, jumping rope, and intense aerobic classes can offer valuable benefits.
However, many people also find these too uncomfortable on their bodies due to all the jumps and shocks in the workouts. In some cases, this could lead to injuries too.
These things especially apply to people who are newer to exercising and/or have some weight to lose.
On the other hand, one of the benefits of stair climbers and steppers is that they offer low-impact workouts. In simpler words, exercise sessions that do not involve big shocks for your body.
This is not only helpful for avoiding injuries but can also make your workouts more pleasant.
4. Stair climbers and steppers engage a few muscles
You will likely get out of breath before stair climbers and steppers fatigue your muscles but you still work certain skeletal muscles to some extent.
More specifically, some of the primary muscles worked with stair climbers include:
- Quadriceps (front thighs)
- Glutes (butt)
- Hamstrings (back thighs)
Some of the secondary muscles you work with stair climbers are:
- Core muscles like your abs, obliques, and erector spinae
- Inner thigh muscles
- Outer thigh muscles
- Hip flexors
- Foot extensor muscles
One important thing to note about this benefit is that stair climbers and steppers will likely not be hard enough to actually grow and strengthen the muscles above.
That being said, you can still improve muscle endurance, slow down muscle degradation, and keep the muscles flexible. These can be valuable effects too.
5. Stair climbers can improve your cardiovascular health
Your lungs, heart, and blood vessels are responsible for things like extracting oxygen from the air and moving this oxygen, nutrients, and waste products around your body.
When using stair climbers and steppers, your body needs to make these processes happen to a larger extent to be able to keep functioning.
In turn, your cardiovascular system has to work harder.
Similar to many other body parts, doing this intensely enough (but not too intense) can make your cardiovascular system stronger in the long term.
One study divided 24 participants into a stair climbing and a control group. The stair climbers did 3 short sessions of vigorously going up a 60-step staircase 3 days a week for 6 weeks.
As somewhat expected, they measured that the peak oxygen uptake, which indicates cardio health, was higher in the stair climbers after the program (1).
The effects of longer stair climber and stepper sessions will likely be bigger.
6. Stair climber workouts do not have to take long
Many people think a good exercise plan needs to take up a lot of time.
While you do need to spend some time challenging your body, you can get really nice results from only relatively short exercise sessions.
More specifically, by really picking up the pace on stair climbers and steppers, you can do a good workout in 20 to 25 minutes or less.
One thing to keep in mind is that your body has to be strong enough for these higher-intensity workouts. Initially, you may need to start with lighter and potentially longer sessions.
Additionally, these slower workouts that tend to take more time can also still have their benefits.
7. Stair climbers can train balance and coordination
There are harder workouts for these fitness components but you can say that stair climbers and steppers are somewhat challenging in terms of balance and coordination.
This can potentially also make you more skillful in these areas over time.
If this is the case, your risk of falling during daily activities like walking around or climbing stairs could go down. This would definitely be a benefit of stair climber workouts.
8. Stair climber sessions can improve your mood
You don’t necessarily have to turn to journaling or similar mental exercises to improve your mood and the positivity of your thoughts.
You can also say that stair climbers and steppers help in this area by reducing your risk of negative conditions that would make you feel worse.
Lastly, overcoming your energy preservation instincts and doing a challenging workout to get health benefits in the long term can feel great too.
9. Stair climbers can change up your cardio workouts
Just doing different cardiovascular workouts than usual by using something like a stair climber can be beneficial for a few reasons.
First of all, you may simply enjoy switching things up which can be a valuable thing in itself.
Secondly, by enjoying your workouts more, you will likely find it easier to stay consistent with your exercise routine. This is important for getting the positive effects.
It is worth mentioning that stair climbers and steppers are not the only fitness equipment options that offer this benefit.
You can also consider cardiovascular tools and workouts like treadmills, rowing machines, elliptical machines, walking, jumping rope, jumping jacks, etc.
10. Stair climbers can make your lungs healthier
As briefly mentioned above, your lungs are important for extracting oxygen from the air. Your body needs this oxygen to function.
One study divided 15 participants into a control and a stair climbing group.
The stair climbing group did exercise sessions of 1-5 ascents (199 steps) 5 days a week. Each ascent took about 2 minutes to complete.
They measured a Vo2max (indicator of lung health) increase of 17.1% in the stair climbing group compared to the control group.
Strengthening your lungs can improve your health, make daily activities easier to do without getting out of breath, and improve exercise performance.
11. Your sleep could be better after a stair climber session
Many people know that better and longer sleep could help them in areas like mood, health, and cognitive function.
At the same time, you may be unsure about actually how to improve this area of your health.
How good your sleep is, is not only the result of what you do in the evening.
One thing to note is that very intense workouts right before you go to sleep can actually have the opposite effect.
For this reason, you preferably want to keep your stair climber and stepper workouts for more than two hours before you go to bed.
12. Stair climbers are adjustable to your fitness level
Getting optimal results from exercise comes down to implementing an intensity level where an activity is challenging for your body but not too challenging.
One of the benefits of stair climbers and steppers is that you can typically adjust the resistance level or at least choose how fast you move your body.
This can be helpful for getting a lot of training results, avoiding injuries, and increasing the challenge level as you get fitter for exercise beginners and experts alike.