Truth? I am not a fitness guru. There are definitely days where, given the choice between laying on my sofa snacking or going to the gym, there is no debate. Two seconds later I’m on the sofa, chocolate in hand. There are days where binge-watching a show wins out over going for a walk and getting some fresh air. I’m never gonna be the person who runs a marathon or wins a weightlifting competition. I think I’m like a lot of people where I want to be healthy, eat right, and work out consistently. Sometimes I’m on top of it, other times, not so much. But there is one thing I’ve started implementing this year that has done so much good. One word: stairs.
I was never opposed to taking the stairs over an elevator or escalator. I would take the stairs every so often if the escalator or elevator was crowded. It was more so just a habit and it seemed the faster means to get to a new floor. I saw it as efficient and convenient.
So New Year’s Eve rolls around and I started thinking of resolutions. I wanted to do something that helped contribute to my health. I was feeling okay health-wise, but not great, so I wanted to see what I could do to move towards feeling great. I could go big and say I’ll work out every day or cut out sweets or something like that. But rarely have big resolutions worked out for me. I can be a little overambitious when it comes to my resolutions. This time around, I decided to go small and focus on a manageable resolution. That’s when I decided that my resolution would be this: any time I was walking somewhere by myself and needed to go to another floor, I would take the stairs.
Now, the first few weeks were rough! I didn’t think I was super out of shape, but those first few weeks I was fighting not to be huffing and puffing as I climbed flights of stairs. My legs were burning and I could feel my heartbeat speed up a good bit. Those first few weeks, more often than not, I dreaded having to go to a floor a few stories up, knowing that it could be really tiring. But I stuck with it because I wanted the personal satisfaction of knowing that I stuck with a New Year’s resolution. While there’s definitely days I’ve missed, and I’m working on not getting annoyed with myself when those days happen, I’ve been pretty consistent with it and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my life. It gets my endorphins pumping and helps get me in a good mindset (it could just be the satisfaction of accomplishing this another day, but hey, it works!). I also feel healthier; I honestly haven’t been sick much this year since I started this. I feel like I have more energy to tackle the day and whatever it brings.
There’s one absolutely brilliant thing with choosing to take the stairs over the elevator or escalator: it’s a way to get a bit of exercise without paying a penny. You don’t have to purchase a gym membership or buy costly equipment. You don’t have to shell out money for organic food. So, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are making a healthier choice without putting a dent in your wallet.
I think most of us are concerned with our health, wanting to eat better and get some exercise, but it can be hard to make such a drastic change. So, consider taking it slow and making a simple step (pun definitely intended!) by committing to take the stairs.
Note: Any health decisions should be made in consideration of any existing health conditions and possibly with the consultation of a doctor.