I’ve written about stairs before. So with the risk of repeating myself – I just cannot stay away from this most obvious of topics when contemplating the tendency of so many to forgo the common sense readily and freely available for a doggedly pursued fashionable alternative, often involving planning, money. Yes, sometimes there are good reasons for using an alternative, but seldomly, if ever, the alternatives make sense as the default, let alone a total replacement.
The prototypical example of a largely unnecessary, unpleasant, mildly ridiculous, and overall inferior (remember the above caveat, that sometimes, under certain circumstances it’s an OK) alternative for running is the treadmill.
More broadly, the argument applies to gym work-outs in general, and at least as far as burning calories is concerned – as we all know one of the major reasons for gym popularity – spending time on very mundane physical activities like house cleaning, gardening, etc. do more for you than a gym work-out. Enough said about that
OK, let’s assume, when running you hit real trails or pavement, or even a sportsground track, breathe sorta fresh air, immerse yourself in an environment without walls and roof. If you are that kind of runner, you probably still soak up advice on how to become a better runner. Advice such as this by a well-known US running coach couple. I wondered what to make of this when one adopts a ‘take-the-stairs-whenever-possible’ approach to daily life.
Well I’m pretty sure you don’t need to add such exercise. I live in a mid-80s HDB block on the 11th floor. Taking the stairs up just once a day, and pushing it a bit, makes for a close equivalent of the above three-minute programme. And that wouldn’t be the end of my stairs for the day given that I use the mrt a lot (rush up the stairs from the Circle line to the East-West line at Buona Vista – half the Roche programme accomplished for the day!), regularly cross busy roads using an overpass rather than wait (forever) at a traffic light, and will add any ‘staircase with a view’ to my running route that offers itself (I’ll make a list sometime in the future, but ya’ll know the obvious candidates like Jelutong tower at MacRitchie, the pagoda in the Chinese garden, etc., and for those with serious ambitions taking the stairs to the 47th floor skygarden at Dawson).
Let’s finish this running rant with a walking the stairs tune for little kids.