Many people would like to exercise but don’t know where to start.
Some people would like to exercise but don’t want to go outside to do it.
Well the good news is there is the perfect training tool right in your very own home – the stairs!
No matter how old, how unfit or out of condition you are the stairs provide a means to slowly and safely increase the amount of exercise you are doing. All in the comfort of your own home and for absolutely free.
The first step. Every time you go past the stairs – walk up three steps then walk back down without turning around (hold onto the bannister if you need to).
Simple. Not too difficult. No sweating. No heavy breathing. But is it doing you any good? YES! Every time you go up a step you are lifting your own body weight against gravity. You are working, in other words, you are doing exercise.
Now imagine how many extra steps you are taking during the day if you do this very time you walk past the stairs, or every time a commercial comes on the telly, or every time you have a cuppa.
Want to progress? Choose a pattern, up 3, down 2, up 1, down 2 – eight steps. Walk up 3, down 3, up 3, down 3 – you’ve doubled your steps.
Step 2. When going upstairs normally take things up the stairs one at a time. Often people will collect things together to reduce the numbers of trips up the stairs. Do the opposite. Find reasons to take more trips up the stairs.
Take the laundry up in small amounts e.g. by room, by type of item. If you’re really into it, take the laundry up piece by piece!
Step 3. Some of you may have been expecting this one. Take the stairs two at a time. By doing this you are increasing the height you are lifting your body weight against gravity i.e. it is harder so the exercise benefit is greater. Only on the way up though, come down the stairs normally.
Step 4. Pause on each step you go up (either one at a time or two at a time). This makes it harder because you don’t get to use momentum to ease your progress. Try it – you may be surprised at how much you use momentum normally without realising. You’ll see this with all sorts of exercises e.g. push ups, doing them slowly with a pause at the bottom is much harder than “bouncing” up and down.
As with all exercise advice, get medical advice if you are unsure if it suitable for you and any medical condition you may have. Stop and seek professional advice if any of these exercises cause you pain.