Stairs aren’t just for escaping burning buildings. It's actually a great way of slipping in some exercise in to your daily routine. Think of taking the stairs as a short workout spread through the workday. This type of short, high-intensity activity is just as effective at improving your aerobic fitness as doing cardio at a long, low-intensity.

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says sedentary people who walked a 199-step staircase for 8 weeks at least twice a day 5 days a week (daily total of about 10 minutes of climbing) had increased their VO2max (a measure of aerobic fitness) by 17% compared to a control group.

Taking the stairs also helps improve your overall speed since the movement engages more leg muscle mass as it lifts the body repeatedly. So if you’re ready to step up your fitness levels, you can try these moves below:
  1. Find a set of steps—whether at the local high school football stadium or at a nearby park—and run up as fast as you can to get your heart pumping.
  2. However long it takes you to get up, take 1 to 2 times that to recover as you come back down before going again.
  3. Shoot for 20-30 minutes of stair climbing, which should be about 5-10 rounds.