Doing Short Sprints to Improve your Cardiovascular Health

30th September 2019
Sprints can be a great choice to leave behind your sedentary lifestyle and start enjoying the multiple benefits of exercising. Do you know why?

A sedentary lifestyle has become a global health problem. A very high percentage of the population isn’t performing enough physical activity. Most people don’t even commit to something as basic as walking. Only when physical problems appear do these people reluctantly decide to start moving. If you want to improve your physical condition, small daily sprints on the stairs are a good way to start.

By adding simple daily sprints into your routine, you won’t need to invest in expensive gym memberships or purchase any special equipment before actually seeing results. This type of training is very useful for people of all fitness levels. Besides, it isn’t reserved for those interested in breaking the vicious circle of laziness.

This activity is also very popular among high competition athletes or for those who, because of lack of time, cannot train as often or as intensely as they wish. Let’s see why daily sprints of activity are such a great addition to incorporate more intensity into your workouts.

Benefits of doing daily sprints

Both the circulatory and cardiovascular systems are the first to obtain benefits when a sedentary person decides to exercise. Your body will immediately perceive the benefits of leaving behind your usual lack of movement.

Small daily sprints on stairs demand more pumping from the heart. This means that the tissues of your whole body will receive more blood, oxygen, and nutrients. In consequence and without any special equipment, your muscles will increase in size and become more toned. This makes it easier to move in your daily life and improve your appearance.

On the other hand, the working capacity of your lungs will become more efficient. This translates into being less out of breath when doing short bursts of activity.

After a relatively small period of consistent work adding some daily sprints into your everyday life, the gains in strength, power, and endurance will be quite noticeable.

Going for everyday sprints can change your life.
Going for everyday sprints can change your life.

Not only for indoor types

Small daily sprints are not just ‘prescribed’ for those looking to break a sedentary lifestyle. Amateur and elite athletes alike swear by the effectiveness of climbing steps to strengthen specific areas and increase sporting performance.

For urban runners, choosing roads with slopes that force them to increase power can be a simple change that can force you to involve new muscles that aren’t used to your usual workout. Hence, jogging or running up the stairs can be an excellent alternative plan for your body to leave the comfort of always moving on flat surfaces, challenging and training muscles that are easily forgotten in your daily routine.

Climbing stairs quickly is such an effective exercise that sports such as volleyball or basketball have used their own the stadium stands so that players strengthen their entire lower body. By adding climbing, they achieve significant improvements in jumping capacity. At the same time, it substantially enhances their cardiovascular resistance on the court.

Make everyday a great workout

Although small daily sprints are a great addition to your routine, they can’t be the sole physical activity you’re doing. In addition to these, there are another series of day-to-day activities that are very useful for recovering fitness. This is the case with vigorous everyday activities such as cleaning, going for a walk with the dog, dancing or even walking instead of taking the car.

To achieve fitness success, maintaining a constant work discipline is one of the fundamental requirements. It’s a matter of doing consistent work every day.

This means, for example, that if you have to go shopping at a supermarket that isn’t too far away, it’s better to walk than use the car. If you work in a building on a floor that isn’t very high, the stairs are the ideal path instead of taking the elevator every day.

In shopping centers, elevators or escalators should be the last option, especially when it comes to going to the upper stages of the building. Also, if the use of the car is essential to travel to work, it’s a good idea to park as far away as possible from the front entrance.

The same applies if the subway is your usual means of transport for your daily commute. It’s advisable to get off on the stop immediately before or after your destination, in order to walk a little more.

For all of these options, optimizing the use of time is also essential. Doing things against the clock is not the best way to encourage this habit. How will you walk if you’re running late? Try to plan ahead, making sure you have plenty of time to add walking without arriving at important appointments sweaty and out of breath.

sprints up and down the stairs can improve your cardiovascular health
Sprinting up and down the stairs can improve your cardiovascular health.

Daily sprints of varying intensity

As you incorporate daily sprints into your daily routine, it’s a good idea to step up the level of difficulty. This’ll help you see better results in less time. Plus, it’ll help you avoid that “plateau effect” that causes your body to stop improving its physical condition.

Walking at a leisurely pace is preferable to never doing any physical activity. However, to achieve obvious and lasting results, changes in intensity are necessary. In short, you have to sweat at least a little bit.

In order to ramp up the intensity, you might need to increase the pace. As you’re walking or going up two or three floors of stairs, try and focus your energy on your muscles. Even if you’re not yet running, you should be intentional in these little workout moments. Make sure your posture is right and lift your feet a little more.

It’s always a good idea to look for an increase in your heart rate and shortened breath. This shows that your blood is pumping throughout your body! Plus, it means you’re improving your respiratory capacity and making you feel energized and full of life.

In short, the only thing you need to start working out is a plan. Once you have a clear schedule, you only need to go through with it! Patience is also an important element: there are no workouts or miraculous routines that will offer results overnight.

  • Cuaderno Aula. 2012. Ejercicios de velocidad en escaleras. Extraído de: http://www.cuadernoaula.com/blog/davidgonzalez/files/2012/10/Ejercicios_de_velocidad.pdf
  • Cáceres, C. 2013. Subir escaleras, una forma de potenciar el ejercicio. Fundación Diabetes. Extraído de: https://www.fundaciondiabetes.org/upload/noticias/10238/068.pdf