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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stairway to Heaven

Started school this week. The campus is HUUUUUUUUUGE. Parking is sort of a nightmare too, but I have to drive to school, so I do what most people do, which is park in the first available space and then hoof it to the building where you need to be. Also, the campus has some old buildings that contain some rickety and unreliable elevators; that means I have been going up and down the stairs a lot.

Do you ever feel embarrassed that you huff and puff at the top of the stairs? Well, in orientation I was grouped with a bunch of fit-looking 20 year olds and let me tell you, when we got to the top of the stairs they were sucking air too! So, I did a little research, according to Dr. Harvey Simon associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School,
What’s so special about climbing stairs? Researchers in Canada answered the question by monitoring 17 healthy male volunteers with an average age of 64 while they walked on the level, lifted weights or climbed stairs. Stair climbing was the most demanding. It was twice as taxing as brisk walking on the level and 50 percent harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights. And peak exertion was attained much faster climbing stairs than walking, which is why nearly everyone huffs and puffs going upstairs, at least until their “second wind” kicks in after a few flights.

So there ya go, stair climbing is a wonderful, but strenuous cardiovascular exercise. Take a flight or two until you build your strength up and keep a slow, but steady pace. And most of all, don't be upset if you huff and puff, literally everyone does unless they have been doing regular stair climbing training.

Um, also? Maybe wear sensible shoes too.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Suzanne! I've missed reading your essays and I see that I've missed A LOT! You're back in school? Wow, exciting times! As for stair-climbing, I hope it's still as beneficial if I just go up and down ours here at home ;-) Hope all's well in your Universe!