Getting some physical activity in your day doesn't have to mean going to the gym, calling a friend to play tennis, or finding time to walk or run. Those are excellent endeavors but you can also add movement to your day by climbing stairs every chance you get.

Stairs give your legs a good workout, elevate your heart rate, and because you are climbing up, stairs make you work against gravity. That's why good gyms invest in stair-climbing machines and football coaches include running up and down the stadium seats in their pre-season workouts — it's intense exercise that makes you fit and strong.

In fact, you may not even know that there are annual stair-climbing races (it's called tower-running — check it out online!) in many cities around the world!

Stairs are free, easy, and convenient

Even if you don't have stairs in your house, chances are good that you encounter them often without even having to look for them!

Here's what to do ...

If you have stairs at your home, nearby, or in a building where you often spend time, challenge yourself to go up and down a few extra times a day. ​

When you have the option to climb stairs or use an elevator, make a habit of choosing the stairs. At first you'll have to think about it and remind yourself (and you may forget sometimes) but once you establish this as what you do, you won't even give it a second thought!

Be safe!

Don't go into stairwells that are dark, deserted or where firedoors may be locked so you can't get out. Don't run up or down so fast you're in danger of tripping and don't wear unsafe shoes (flip-flops, heels or clogs can all present hazards).

Add fun and extra challenge by adding interval training by alternate going fast and then slow, pushing yourself to do one more set, and climbing a certain number of stairs every day.​