The Zen of stairclimbing
The Buddha said: ‘Good health is the highest gain’ (Dhp.204) and he encouraged monks and nuns to do exercise as a way of promoting vigour and health (Vin.II,119).
In the Four Foundations of Mindfulness discourse (Majjhima Nikaya 10) the Buddha states that one should maintain mindfulness when walking and going: "Furthermore, when walking, the monk discerns that he is walking . . .Furthermore, when going forward and returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away... when bending & extending his limbs... he makes himself fully alert."
Movements like walking have been incorporated into the meditation practice at many Dhamma centers. In the same way, movements in sports can and should be done mindfully. The result will be better health and better performances.
Stairclimbing especially burns many calories and provides an excellent work-out to the cardio-vascular system, promoting good health. A more fit heart beats less times during non-work-out times, which could increase longevity and provide more relaxed and better meditation sessions.
Buddha was sort of a stairclimber. The Buddha liked to meditate at Vulture Peak and he had to climb a steep hill to get to the top. Today there are stairs up this steep hill to Vulture Peak; it is roughly equivalent to climbing 1,500 stairs. In the 10th century a King called the Maha Bodhi temple (holiest place of Buddhism) the stairway to heaven.