Ready for week 3 of Fall 10in10 weekday challenge?
Worried you aren't doing enough to stay fit?
Don't have any extra time to dedicate to exercise?
Wish it was easier to stay supple and toned?
Then this challenge is for you!
This week’s challenge, no.3 of the Fall10in10, is to take the stairs at every opportunity
When things heat up and life gets too busy, fitness is the first thing to go.
Setting time aside for sport can be tough, but the most efficient way to stay active is by making the most of journeys you are making anyway.
My vote for the 'Most Accessible Exercise For Busy People' Award goes to these fellows:
WE HEART STAIRS
5 reasons to take the stairs:
- High quality lower body exercise
- Adds value to your commute or coffee run, share the stair love if you're with someone else too, invite them along on an adventure to the stairwell!
- No specific sporting prowess is required
- No-one is watching you and no lycra involved
- Complements other fitness training
Why you can climb stairs even if:
- Stairs take too long... Standing on escalators, waiting for lifts, the stopping and starting, means there isn’t much of a difference in time. In addition, the valuable minutes of exercise you’re sneaking in mean less of your spare time needs to be set aside for fitness
- You're too tired... You’ll be surprised at how the movement will wake you up from sitting-induced sleepiness. Small bursts of physical activity that get your blood pumping have great benefits for your health
- You'll get sweaty... You may, but if things get out of control, you can stop and have a rest. At least stair climbing is weather-proof
- You work on the 26th floor... Start small, set yourself a challenge to get to a certain floor, then you can jump in the lift. Ramp up the heights
- You're not allowed on the stairs in your office... Often health & safety protect us by making stairs only accessible in emergencies. I really struggle to understand the logic. Do me a favour and send your office manager an e-mail asking for permission, if that doesn't work launch a workplace petition and if all else fails stand with placards (I can provide them) outside your office...show your office managers you care about the stair! Haha
- You're injured... Climbing up stairs can be low impact - just make sure that you do it cautiously and consciously. Stairs can help strengthen your quads, hamstrings and glutes, which can decrease the stress on the injured joint itself. Avoid stairs if in doubt though. Check with your doctor if you are unsure
What to do right now:
- Have a think about your daily commute - any lifts or escalators are your target areas
- Check your stair-walking skills - here are a few tips:
- Foot placement: Place your foot flat on the surface of the stair when stepping up, with the weight on the inner side of your foot and your big toe, rather than the outer edge of foot which we sometimes default to and can cause bad knee alignment
- Knees: Be careful. Lurching up stairs can put more strain on your knee than going down stairs. Try to keep you knee tracking straight rather than knocking in. Engage your glutes (squeeze your bum) to hold your hips stable and harness the power of our body's biggest muscle
- Upper body: Your core can absorb strain so keep your stomach tight and shoulders over your hips is best. Avoid leaning forward as the tilt can place extra stress on your knees in an attempt to keep your body stable.
- Be careful but be confident in your ability to take more stairs
If you want to go crazy, you could start a challenge myself and 30 others took on in November of the eXerK 52in52, climbing Everest by stairs. 50,000 steps in 30 days. It was one of my most rewarding challenges. I was a London stair connoisseur and had quads of steel by the end of it!