Do you ever feel embarrassed that you huff and puff at the top of the stairs? Well, in orientation I was grouped with a bunch of fit-looking 20 year olds and let me tell you, when we got to the top of the stairs they were sucking air too! So, I did a little research, according to Dr. Harvey Simon associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School,
What’s so special about climbing stairs? Researchers in Canada answered the question by monitoring 17 healthy male volunteers with an average age of 64 while they walked on the level, lifted weights or climbed stairs. Stair climbing was the most demanding. It was twice as taxing as brisk walking on the level and 50 percent harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights. And peak exertion was attained much faster climbing stairs than walking, which is why nearly everyone huffs and puffs going upstairs, at least until their “second wind” kicks in after a few flights.
So there ya go, stair climbing is a wonderful, but strenuous cardiovascular exercise. Take a flight or two until you build your strength up and keep a slow, but steady pace. And most of all, don't be upset if you huff and puff, literally everyone does unless they have been doing regular stair climbing training.
Um, also? Maybe wear sensible shoes too.