This time of year it is rough to try to get outside for exercise, especially after that snow storm we just had on the East Coast. One alternative option you have to walking longer distances is to practice walking up and down stairs.
I live in an apartment building, on the fourth floor. When I moved in here, I chose to live on the top floor so I could get the best sunlight for growing plants. It didn’t hurt that I would then have to do more stairs and get a bit more exercise. This was a great option for me.
After living here for a time, I found that I would not even leave my apartment some days. I was not getting those extra stairs and exercise bouts that I wanted from living on the fourth floor. My fix: prioritizing checking my mail every day.
While this small thing wasn’t going to change my life it did start to change how I approached leaving my apartment. So often I had to be ‘going somewhere’ or ‘leaving,’ walking all the way to my car, usually carrying something for my day or evening. It was more work. When I encouraged myself to just go down stairs I didn’t have to be going or doing anything. I was just living and still being in part of my home.
Some times I would decide once I had checked my mail to go walk around the yard of my apartment building, or walk around the block. It started to break up my day and provide me with the extra movement that I wanted because I was just casually enjoying my surroundings.
Now if you live in a home with more than one floor you may notice the exact opposite. You may be spending all of your day time in your downstairs living space rather than bedrooms which are commonly upstairs. Perhaps taking a break and relaxing in your bedroom might be nice mid day. This adds an extra trip up and down those stairs for you and provides you with a break. We could all use a few minutes to just relax. Two wellness practices checked off with this one.
These simple changes to your daily pattern may provide you with new possibilities to your movement. Take some time and think about how you can change things up by going up and down the stairs more. Do you already do that a few times a day? Can you use a greater frequency of stair climes to strengthen your leg muscles. What are some other ways you can use stairs for your wellness? Stretching is one. Putting your legs on steps for lunges or calf stretches can change up the monotony of regular stretches.
For more detailed support with getting more movement in your life, consider A Beginner’s Guide to Wellness or a private consultation with the author, Jillian Carnrick, an herbalist, nutritionist, and personal trainer.