There is nothing like a good stair workout.
And I don’t mean at the gym on the stair climber machine – I mean a real set of stairs you have to climb to get from A to B.
I don’t think it matters how fit you are, walking or running up a flight or set of stairs gets your heart pumping and legs and lungs burning.
The first time I ever ran a set of stairs I felt like I was in hell and wasn’t going to be able to walk for a week. Now, I have a sick appreciation of them and whenever we are away on holidays I always try to find a new set to conquer.
Apparently there are even stair-climbing competitions, as I discovered when doing some light fitness reading during the week.
I was reading up on the The Sydney Tower Challenge, which was held in August this year and entrants started from Pitt Street Mall and finished on the Observation Deck. It’s apparently more than 1500 stairs, in a row, to conquer the challenge.
Professional tower climber Mark Bourne did it under eight minutes, which I find absolutely amazing!
There is a whole website devoted to stair running www.towerrunning.com and there are events held all of the world. In fact there is one in Melbourne this weekend.
Maybe even Newcastle could do one – up the Queens Wharf Brewery tower.
But you don’t have to be a professional stair runner to get some benefit from a stair workout.
You can simply start taking the stairs at work instead of the lift. Or go and walk up and down the stairs in your office throughout the day. In fact, I think companies should encourage workers to do so and give them a five-minute break every hour to do some exercise. I reckon the productivity levels would increase if they did.
There are heaps of different sets of stairs around Newcastle – we are so lucky to have so many great places in our region where we can exercise and enjoy a great outlook.
And the thing I love about stairs is there is generally a good view at the top of them, which is well worth the pain of getting there.
You can intersperse your stairs with strength exercises such as push-ups, squats, rows or planks for example, and it is a great way to spice up your exercise program.
I even slightly enjoyed walking my two children up and down our stairs at home in an attempt to settle them during cactus hour (the cranky hours of an evening if you aren’t a parent and were wondering) or the wee hours of the morning when they were newborns. Although I was tired and it was probably the last thing my body wanted to do I credit those spurts of stairs for helping get back in shape.
So, get out there and give some stair running or walking a go because, after all, the only way is up.