As much as I love working out, I HATE CARDIO! I hate the way it makes my joints feel, I hate not being able to breathe, I hate how it 5 minutes feels like 5 hours. It is just the absolute worst. That being said, the StairMaster is a golden machine for all the benefits of cardio without all the things we hate.
Easy on your body
The StairMaster is highly modifiable to adapt to each person’s bodily constraints. You can skip steps or increase the speed if you are looking to increase the difficulty. For people looking for a more low-key workout going slow and one step at a time will still raise your heart rate and make you sweat. I personally have horrible joints. I have never been diagnosed with anything, but they have always bothered me, and it’s only gotten worse after having babies. I do hang on for dear life in fear of missing a step and falling, but doing the StairMaster does not hurt my knees, hips, or back at all.
Goals are easy to meet
One of the hardest things about the treadmill for me is how long it takes to get a certain distance. In my prime, I could barely fit in a mile before I would bug out and have to move on to a different machine. Reaching goals such as 500 or 1000 steps is a great workout accomplishment, and it’s easy to get to. I personally am so focused on not falling off of the machine that before I know it, I have done 500 steps. As you do it it will get easier and easier, and you’ll find yourself seeking bigger goals like 10,000 stairs (yikes).
This is ultimately how we build muscle. It is an opposing force that requires our muscles to engage to overcome that force. This happens every time you take a simple step but much more is required to step up to something. A leisurely walk on a treadmill at it’s very best may burn 50-75 calories whereas a leisurely walk up some stairs will burn closer to 125-150 calories.
Why to avoid the Stairmaster
Walking up moving stairs is a bit of a skill. Don’t expect to be able to get on it and run the stairs the same way you do at home on stationary stairs. Take it slow and hold on like you are one stair away from losing your footing. If you suffer from some sort of ailment that causes your bones to break easily, makes you dizzy, or causes you to trip easily, I would avoid this machine. A more low key machine that also offers a great workout is the row machine.