The Real Benefits Of Using A StairMaster

The StairMaster is one of those gym machines you might walk right past on your way to the treadmill without even giving it a glance. Its tall, bulky shape may look intimidating and complicated, but the benefits it can offer make the climbing cardio machine worth a try.  

The stair climb is a low-impact natural movement, meaning that it's easier on the knees, ankles, and back than some other exercises and almost anyone can do it (via Aaptiv). The machine offers a plethora of settings, for beginners to the more advanced. They're equipped with various programs like steady state cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT).

The StairMaster can burn a ton of calories, offering an incredible cardio workout, but what makes this machine an even bigger gym win is the toning and shaping it can offer your lower body (per Livestrong). The more you utilize the step machine in your workouts, the stronger and leaner your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes will become. 

Celebrity trainer Adam Friedman tells Shape that you can target certain areas of your body when using the StairMaster by making subtle changes, such as taking two steps at a time. He states "By taking big, giant steps, you'll target the glutes and the upper thighs, where the mass of muscle is."

How the StairMaster helps your heart

The benefits of using the StairMaster are not only limited to the ways it can shape and strengthen your lower body. According to Healthline, stair climbing can help keep your heart and lungs strong due to its aerobic conditioning. A healthier heart can pump more oxygen-rich blood through the body while stronger lungs allow more oxygen into it.

Harvard Health Publishing reports that stair climbing, when compared to walking, burns twice the number of calories. This can lead to a reduced risk of obesity, a factor closely correlated with the risk of heart disease. Dr. JoAnne Foody, medical director of cardiovascular wellness services at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, says "Stair climbing reduces the risk for heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing stress levels, and aiding in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight."

For optimum heart health, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes per week of more vigorous cardio spread throughout the week, with muscle-strengthening at least two days a week. The StairMaster is a great choice to meet these requirements, with its versatility for cardiovascular exercise as well as its strength training properties.