I’ve walked up eight-nine flights of stairs at work between two and five times a day for the past 18 months. It’s part of my effort to sandwich in physical exercise in my daily routine. I find that it’s the equivalent of a shot of expresso coffee because it gets my blood flowing, my heart beating and my mind sparked. I am not going to nod off at my desk after a climb. It’s one of the reasons that I’ve dramatically cut back on my coffee consumption. It’s still leaves me panting on the top flight of stairs, but I’ve noticed recently that my heart is not pounding as hard as it used to and I recover a lot more quickly. It used to be that I had to wait two or three minutes before walking out into the hallway. I raised too many eyebrows when I tried to speak through my heavy breathing. Now I can walk out of the stairwell within 30 seconds.
I don’t know if it has made a dramatic shift in my physical conditioning. It’s no more than four minutes to climb the stairs so I don’t get any real aerobic effect out of it. I think it does let me get into chair pose (Utkatasana) and hold it longer and more deeply.