We’ve reached the depths of winter in the Midwest, and the part of that dismal season when changes in temperature mean melting snow, then refreezing, then melting again, then refreezing again. It makes walking outside a treacherous exercise that is not for the faint of heart — especially if you’re walking on ever-slippery brick.
But there is an alternative to outdoor exercise for those of us who are too cheap to get health club memberships but who desperately need the exercise if they hope to stave off the condition of Rapid Waistline Expansion. It’s called the stairs. And if, like me, you toil in an older building where there are lots of stairwells with different designs, like the stairwell shown above, the stairs can be a pretty cool option aesthetically, too.
According to the medical experts, taking the stairs does have the effect of burning some calories — although not enough to allow you to rationalize eating a Snickers bar a day, unless you’re walking to the top of the Empire State building on your way to work — and other health benefits as well, including building and maintaining health bones, muscles, and joints and improved aerobic capacity. I like doing it because it gets me moving and gets the blood flowing during the day, and I feel like I’m at least doing something to maintain or even improve my health while at the office.
Of course, it’s a lot easier taking the stairs going down, than going up.