I remember reading this the first time when I started to inform myself about healthy living. It was one of the most common advice I’ve read in that period.
Although I don’t read it that often anymore it’s still gold for several reasons. Maybe people were tired of hearing it, so writers stopped writing about it, but hear me out before you click away.
This advice is basically what this page is all about. Think about it: people are paying a monthly fee to visit the gym and exercise on a stepper. A stepper! That’s a stationary staircase. Often the same people don’t use the stairs but take the elevator.
This is nonsense. Save your money, cancel your gym membership and take the stairs all the time. It’s one simple rule, “Never take the elevator”. If you have to climb 50 floors, take the elevator to the 48th and walk the final two. This sounds ridiculous, but that’s what will bring you to health.
It’s the little things, the environmental changes you make, not the big things like wanting to exercise in the gym for 3 times a week. Taking the stairs will be enough at the beginning since it’s also an excellent exercise. Here’s why.
Taking the stairs will exercise basically every muscle in your lower body, thighs, calves, hips. Besides that, it will also benefit your heart and your lungs. The first time you are walking 5 floors, when you reach the top you will feel your heart beating, your breath fastening and you will probably sweat a little.
Congratulations, you just finished your first exercise program.
Don’t worry, you’ll get used to this and soon you’ll be sprinting to the top in no time.
Having a healthier heart and healthier lungs will make your immune system stronger and decrease your risk of getting a cold. Besides that, your risk of developing a chronic disease like diabetes type 2 will also be reduced.
Researchers in Great Britain did an experiment on this. Twelve sedentary women were asked to walk a 200 step staircase, starting with once a day to six times a day. It took 2 minutes to walk all 200 steps and they were allowed to take the elevator down.
So at the end, they were “exercising” twelve minutes a day. After only two months their fitness level soared and their risk for cardiovascular disease was reduced by 33%.
But wait, there’s more.
If you want to lose weight, taking the stairs is also a great way to get started. You can probably fit in 30 minutes of stair walking if you always take the stairs. A person weighing 120 pounds will burn 220 calories for 30 minutes of stair walking.
Since a pound of fat has 3500 calories you will lose almost two pounds a month just by walking the stairs, how easy can weight loss get?
Besides the physiological benefits, there are also mental benefits involved when taking the stairs.
Every time you climbed up stairs, your body releases endorphins, one of your “feel-good chemicals”, the same ones that you’ll get when you experience runner’s high, as mentioned in an idea before.
Over time, your ability to focus and concentrate will improve and you will feel more relaxed.
Besides that, as you’ll get more fit your self-esteem will also improve and you’ll feel better in general. All of this just as a result of taking the stairs.
Oh, and by the way, recent studies even found out that taking the stairs will save you time.
Getting started is really easy. Just check for the stairs in every building you usually are during the day. Find them in your apartment building, your office and the malls you visit.
Then, just take them. If you need some time to get used to it, take your time, but be consistent. Think about all the positive effects it will have on your health and even better, it’s totally free.
Steps to take:
- Find the stairs in all your regular buildings.
- Every time you want to use the escalator, reminder yourself of this and take the stairs.
- Every time you want to use the elevator, and it’s no more than 5 flights, use the stairs.
- If you have to go up more than 5 flights, take the elevator to one below and walk at least one flight of stairs.
- Alternatively, you could take the elevator up and the stairs down or the other way around.