Guest Blog from Real Condo Life:
YOU. We are in a world of self-serve and instant gratification.We print our airline tickets at kiosks, order movie tickets online and swipe our phones to pay for coffee. In most cases (and if we’re lucky), self-serve translates into fast, efficient service. Yet even when it doesn’t, it still seems to be our first choice. (Ever waited in line for an ATM when the teller was empty?) Yet somehow, and for some strange reason, there’s an exception to this mindset when it comes to our health and incidental exercise (referring to the physical activity which we do naturally just living our day to day lives) and even more specifically, when it comes to stairs. For some reason, we willingly forego the vertical climb that we know will serve us well. Instead, we wait…and wait… and sometimes even wait some more, for elevators to take us on our ascent. But why?
We know that stairs are good for us. Taking the stairs burns 7 x more calories than taking the elevator. Taking the stairs can actually increase your calorie burn for the day. Studies have shown that if you walk up enough stairs during the week, it can actually help you lose weight. On average, we spend about 9.5 hours a day or 69% of our waking hours in sedentary behaviours. We need to be mobile.
Living in a highrise environment, we’re fortunate that most of our basic needs are met in our immediate surroundings. When you consider the amenities, nearby or included retail, access to transportation and the community as a whole, there’s not much to want for. The same applies to personal health and well being. Living vertically essentially gives you everything you need in order to stay active. Stairs can be are a no-brainer part of this if you’re physically able to manage them.
I was personally able to “rediscover” the stairs during my own Condo Adventure. Prior to that, myfondest memory of stairs was using them to teach each of my boys to count to ten, with a well thought out and strenuous leap on their end to each (giant) riser. My most not-so- fond memory of stairs was the University stadium stairs I climbed repeatedly during cheerleader tryouts which left me fairly immobile the next day. Fortunately, memories can fail you in wise ways.
While living in our condo, we made a conscious effort to take the stairs, rather than the elevator on many occasions. Approximately 450 steps from top to bottom. We got off a few storeys short, but it was still a great workout.
Dr. Harvey Simon, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, considers walking up stairs to be “one of the best-kept secrets in preventive medicine.” His interview in the New York Timesreferred to a Harvard Alumni Study which found that men who average at least eight flights a day enjoy a 33 percent lower mortality rate than men who are sedentary. An even more impressive rate than the 22 percent lower death rate men earned by walking 1.3 miles a day. Even at a slow pace, you’ll burn calories two to three times faster climbing stairs than walking briskly on level.
If you’re not that ambitious, just stick with what you’ve got available to you and try to choose differently, choose better every now and then. And in the words of Dr. James Rouse, ND, try to remember the following,
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