Wanna know how to get moving more without breaking the bank, and without breaking (much of) a sweat?
Over the course of writing this blog, I’ll provide as many ideas as I can. Much of it will not be news to you. But some ideas, I hope, will be practical enough, and you will adopt them.
This first one did not originate from me. My wife told me this is what they do at the hospital where she works. I think it is a fantastic idea for getting yourself moving more, and getting more people around you to do the same.
Here it is:
In a stairwell between two of the main levels in a Boston hospital (not to be too specific), there are sign-up sheets for the “stairwell club”. Basically, when you enter the stairwell, you sign your name, and when you get to the other level, you sign on the other sheet there.
That way, anyone can become part of the “club”: all it takes for someone to go up (or down, of course) at least once. Presumably, the more you do it, the more you name is going to be on the sheets, and the more it might get noticed…
Now, I’m a big fan of stairs. Scratch that: I’m a HUGE fan of stairs. I use them as much as I can, everywhere. It frustrates me when I get some place and I can’t find, or use, the stairwells (not to mention it is a security issue, so it is always good to know where they are). I’ll talk about stairs repeatedly on this blog.
It is THE perfect exercise you can do without actually doing “exercise”. It works your biggest muscle groups (glutes, quads, hamstrings) and is pretty good cardio if you do enough of them in a row. But even if you do just a little at a time, not enough to break a sweat, you still get benefits. To top it all off, it works almost as well whether you are going up, or down.
So if you are willing to start doing stairs and are really out of shape, you can start by going down. Resistive work (using the muscle strength against the direction of movement, precisely like going down a stair) is actually better for muscle tone and strength, while the overall demand is less due to the gravity assist. You cannot lose by doing stairs that way.
What’s really neat about this idea of a “stairwell club” is that you don’t need to gather people and organize it: it will organize itself. Just prepare the sign-up sheets and post them. Don’t ask for permission. Don’t worry if the sign-up sheets get taken down by the cleaning staff: just put up new ones. And then watch what happens.
Who knows, you might get to meet like-minded folks in your building. You might get some help with the club, or spark a bit of friendly competition to see whose name is most visible on the sheets…
The way I see it, for fitness, stairs have no downside!
Photo from Pixabay.