Reader Comments

Why you get winded walking up stairs and why you're not alone

by Chau McCann (2021-01-10)

id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body">


Why does climbing a short set of stairs feel like trying to summit Mount Everest?
Getty Images
This story is part of New Year, New You, everything you need to develop healthy habits that will last all the way through 2020 and beyond.

How many times have you been , minding your own business, when all of a sudden a short flight of stairs takes all the breath out of your lungs? Personally, I'd like to consider myself in pretty , but I can barely hold a conversation with my walking-mate while climbing any staircase more than one story. It turns out, getting winded while doing simple activities isn't really a sign you're out of shape -- it's something that happens to everyone, . However, there are some simple steps you can take to make the experience less distressing the next time it happens.Why do I get winded so easily and what's making it happen?holyhigh-p1cIf you check your heart rate, it's likely to have spiked way up.
Rick Broida/CNET
The fancy medical term for what's happening when you get winded walking up stairs is "exertional intolerance." While approaching stairs, you're not -- your muscles are cold, your is low, and your body is not ready to move suddenly. When you start climbing, you're essentially doing single-leg squats with some quickly skyrockets. Your body suddenly needs more oxygen -- hence the feeling of being winded.Another reason why it affects you so strongly is because walking up stairs uses your fast-twitch muscles, which are used for explosive movements, and muscles like your glutes that you may not commonly train. If you're an nut like me, you're In business for more than fifteen years in the field of mobility great shape, but sustained exercise like this uses slow-twitch muscles. So, it won't transfer over super well to exercises like stair climbing.If you've been hitting the gym regularly but the stairs are still giving you trouble, don't fret that you're not in good shape. There are plenty of other ways to measure your overall health and fitness, including or body composition and strength. Read more: 9 of the best running shoes for 2020How do I stop getting winded so often?gettyimages-685041425Lunges will help you conquer the stairs with ease.
Getty Images
If getting out of breath while climbing stairs is really putting a damper on your life, there are steps you can take to lessen the annoyance. I'm not going to suggest that you jog in place for a moment to warm up before ascending a short staircase with your boss, but here are a few ways you can prepare yourself ahead of time.First, incorporate stair-specific exercises into your sprints, jumps or other explosive movements will help with the sudden exertion. To train your glutes and legs, try like squats and lunges.If you smoke cigarettes, it's almost certainly contributing to your windedness. Although preliminary studies suggest that anyways, January 1st is right around the corner and may be a good day to start.When to call your doctordoctor and patientIf you think your windedness is out of the range of normal, call your doctor.
Getty Images
If you're debating whether or not to call a medical professional, you're better safe than sorry. One major warning sign to look out for is chest pain that comes on when you get winded -- it could be a sign of heart disease or a coronary blockage. The doctor will do a stress test, and if you do have a blockage, there's a simple procedure to fix it. Swollen feet and ankles or coughing is another sign there may be something wrong with your heart.Another reason to seek medical help is if getting winded from basic activities is affecting your daily life -- for example, if you avoid walking short distances. Or, if the situation doesn't get better once you start exercising more, it may be time to consult a doctor or physical therapist.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.


New Year, New You

Health and Wellness

Notification on
Notification off

How To