We all know exercise is crucial to staying in shape, keeping your circulation and cardiovascular system well, and promoting overall health. While many people complain that they’re too busy to get enough exercise or find some other excuse, there is a simple way to at least get some movement; the best part is it does not involve any expensive gym equipment but rather something that nearly most of us encounter in our everyday routines: stairs. Next time you come across an elevator, opt to take the stairs instead. If possible, avoid taking your car to the store, walk or bike instead. Instead of taking a cab, try to take a walk to your destination.

Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity daily. While some may argue that a minute or two taking the stairs does not make a difference, those few minutes add up.

How Will Walking or Taking Stairs Impact Calories?

Keeping track of how many calories you consume is an important step in maintaining your weight and a healthy lifestyle. Eating fruits and vegetables not only provide you with low-calories foods, you get a hearty dose of vitamins and minerals as well.

When you keep track of how many calories you take in, you can also keep track of the number of calories you use. Your caloric intake should equal the calories you expend.

You will be surprised at how many calories you can burn throughout a regular day. Interestingly, your brain uses a lot of energy. Aside from that, you’ll need to supplement your calorie expenditure with some sort of physical activity.

A flight of stairs can burn about 5 calories. Going up 10 flights of stairs can burn about 50 calories. Add walking into the equation and you burn even more calories. Half a mile of walking can burn about 50 calories. 10 flights of stairs and a half mile walk would use about 100 calories.

Keep in mind the actual number of calories you burn depends on your weight, your metabolism, how much muscle and fat you have, as well as your physical conditioning.

In addition to lowering your calories, this type of cardio exercise has tremendous benefits on other health aspects. Doing cardio activity lowers a person’s risk of stroke, depression, heart disease, and can lower blood pressure. Adding this kind of activity to your lifestyle makes a major impact on your overall well-being.

Although stairs is a great ‘trick’ to increase your daily cardio, this activity is not for everyone. Walking up and down stairs puts pressure on your knee joints and ankles. Going down stairs puts even more pressure on one’s knees. Those with heart problems should also consult with their doctor about what cardio activities are right for them.

While taking the stairs may seem like a small difference to your cardio and overall well-being, it sure is a healthy start to burning calories and improving your body’s health.