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The month of January is a new start of the year, and it can be a great time to start new habits that can lead to a healthier lifestyle. National Take the Stairs Day is one great way to make a small change that can have a big impact!

History of National Take the Stairs Day

The first National Take the Stairs Day occurred in 2016 and it has been celebrated each year ever since. Supported by the American Lung Association (ALA), this day is part of an effort to help people have healthier lungs and bodies. Chapters of the ALA in various states throughout the US promote National Take the Stairs Day with events and activities that support lung health.

One of the activities encouraged by the American Lung Association on National Take the Stairs Day is to register to participate in one of their fund-raising events, the Fight for Air Climb. These charity events take place in areas all over the US where participants climb stairs in some of the most popular skyscrapers in the country.

With 42 different versions of the Fight for Air Climb, it’s a great way to participate in a community event that is good for the participant’s physical health and it also helps support a good cause – lung health. Participants can climb stairs in cool places such as San Francisco, CA; Dallas, TX; Providence, RI; or New York, NY. Some of these events may also offer discounts on fees in honor of National Take the Stairs Day.

Get starting training for one of these events by creating a new habit in celebration of National Take the Stairs Day!

How to Celebrate National Take the Stairs Day

National Take the Stairs Day offers a ton of fun options for enjoying the celebration of this day – and much more throughout the year. Get started with some of these ideas:

Take The Stairs!

Of course, the first order of business on National Take the Stairs Day is to forgo the elevator and get moving up those stairs. Some people are so accustomed to taking the elevator in their office buildings that they aren’t even sure where the staircase is. So this is just the right time to find out!

Leave those people behind who are just standing there waiting for a lift up the elevator, open the door to the staircase, and get started on one small way to live a much healthier life.

Learn About Benefits of Taking the Stairs

Not sure if taking the stairs is really meaningful? When it becomes a habit, taking the stairs can add a whole lot of benefits to a healthy and happy lifestyle, including some of these:

  • Strengthen Heart and Lung Health

    Cardiovascular and respiratory fitness is vital for living a long and healthy life. Taking the stairs on a regular basis can improve cardio fitness and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

  • Build Strong Bones and Muscles

    As the muscles in the legs work to move up the stairs, the abdominal and back muscles are also activated, as well as pumping the arms. Take the stairs for a whole body workout and get the added bonus of built-in resistance training that comes naturally from gravity. 

  • Save Time

    While most people think an elevator would be faster, the wait times are often such that taking the stairs can truly save a person time – even around 15 minutes per day!

  • Burn More Calories

    Because of the resistance of gravity, taking the stairs will burn more calories than simply jogging on a flat surface. It’s a great way to level up that workout, manage weight gain and fight off obesity in a simple manner. 

Create a Stair-Climbing Challenge

Excited to see those stairwells at work full of people celebrating National Take the Stairs Day? Then organize an event to get the word out and raise awareness for the day! Use the official day as a kickoff for a month-long or even year-long campaign to make the workplace a healthier place where everyone takes the stairs.

Print flyers to post in the breakroom or make a signup sheet to get people to commit to participating in National Take the Stairs Day. Then, on the kickoff day, don’t forget to post a sign in front of the elevator that reminds participants to head on over to that stairwell in order to keep their commitment. And don’t forget to offer prizes and incentives to motivate the people!

Download a Step Counter App

Get into the groove of National Take the Stairs Day by downloading an app on your smartphone that will help keep track of the number of stairs that have been climbed each day. But what is the right number of stairs to climb each day?

According to the American Heart Association, a person needs approximately 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, every week in order to maintain their current weight or start losing weight. These goals can be completed by climbing just ten flights of stairs every day.

So get out that step counter and get climbing!

Commit to the Empire State Building Run Up (ESBRU)

One cool way to join in on the fun of National Take the Stairs Day, and get an amazing workout at the same time, is to commit to the Empire State Building Run Up. In the world’s original and most famous tower race, participants can take this iconic tower’s 86 flights of stairs, which equals 1576 steps or approximately 1/4 mile.

First taking place in 1978, the inaugural tower run was won by Gary Muhrcke, who was also the first winner of the New York City Marathon in 1970. The fastest runners usually take about 10 minutes for the climb and then finish off with a scenic run around the observation deck which has an amazing view of New York City.
The annual Empire State Building Run Up race typically takes place in the month of October and requires registration for the limited spaces available to join in on the run.

National Take the Stairs Day FAQs

Why take the stairs?

Climbing stairs strengthens muscles, joints and bones as well as contributing to heart health.[1]

Are the stairs a good workout?

Yes! Gravity means that stair workouts are extra challenging, offering a cardio workout and strength training together.[2]

Why do doctors take the stairs?

Not only is it healthy to take the stairs but research has shown that it can save up to 15 minutes per day![3]

Can you take the stairs up the Eiffel Tower?

You can take the stairs part of the way up the Eiffel Tower, which is 674 steps to the second floor. The remaining 900+ steps to the top are closed to the public.[4]

Can I take the stairs while pregnant?

As long as the pregnancy is progressing in a healthy manner, it’s fine to take the stairs, but be more careful because balance may be off.[5]

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