How quickly we can climb four flights of stairs can be a good indicator of heart health. Not considering any known physical restrictions, we should each be able to do it in under a minute without stopping. Beyond being an indicator of what is known as “exercise capacity,” it also shows a lesser risk of heart disease and even premature death from some cancers. Physical activity has a positive effect on blood pressure and lipids, reduces inflammation and improves the body’s immune response to tumors. The Stair Test is essentially pass or fail. So if you can’t make the four flights in under a minute - it’s a good indication that it’s time to up your exercise regimen. We all have differing abilities and stamina - so a a good rule of thumb when considering how much exercise you need is to aim for “30 minutes of breathlessness” a day to work out your heart - whether that is with a brisk walk, a fast run or a Zumba class, strive for breathlessness!
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