Workout Wednesday #10

by DavalosMcCormack on February 11, 2009

Getting regular aerobic exercise – the kind that leaves you huffing and puffing – is really important for good all around health, but if you don’t like to run and don’t like riding bikes how do you get it? The answer is easy, in fact it’s stairing you right in the face.

Stairs are the ultimate exercise machine, and the best part is you don’t have to buy them, they’re everywhere.

In San Francisco we are lucky because we have such steep hills that the city has cut staircases into many of them so you can walk up and down without falling down. But even if you don’t live in a city with staircases on the streets you can find them pretty much everywhere else.

Think about it, most homes have stairs of one form or another. Most offices do too. Even shopping malls have stairs, though you often have to look quite hard to find them. And high school and college football stadiums have stairs or bleachers that work just the same way.

You don’t need any training or tips on how to use them. You run up,  you run down. You walk up, you walk down. Repeat until fatigued. Believe me that won’t take long.

But then you’ll be surprised how quickly you notice an improvement in your stamina.  San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom decided he needed to be healthier so he started using the huge, ceremonial staircase at City Hall instead of the elevator. At first he was always out of breath, but pretty soon he was able to run up the stairs two at a time. It was great for him. Sadly it wasn’t so great for his staffers who had to try and keep up with Newsom. But think of how much healthier they were, even if it wasn’t by choice.

New Hampshire’s new U.S. Senator, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, also uses the stairs instead of the elevator in the Senate building. She says in a work day that can last from before dawn to late at night you have to get exercise wherever and whenever you can.

Using the stairs will give your heart a terrific workout, your lungs too, and you’re legs and butt will feel it too. In short, everything but your ears benefit from using the stairs.

And you can do it anytime. At work during breaks or lunch time or anytime you need to get from one place to another. At home, in the morning or at night.

Best of all it doesn’t cost you anything.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: