Take the Stairs
Please, for the love of God, take the stairs.
Maybe I’m not perfect when it comes to this; I have ridden in a fair share of elevators in my life. Just this afternoon, I had a venti iced coffee in one hand and a bag in the other and so I found myself reaching for the elevator call button. But I caught myself and slowly pulled my hand back and walked the very short, very easy 4 flights of steps back to my office. And now I'm going to make a conscious effort to keep taking them every day like I did when I first started here.
We’ve all seen it. Someone gets on the elevator with us. We’re riding to the 15th floor. They press the button for “2”. It makes me want to SCREAM, and I know I’m not the only one.
Every morning I take the train to suburban station and have to walk from the concourse up the steps to the main floor and exit. One flight of stairs. Nice, wide, concrete steps. And every morning it’s extra easy because there are hardly any commuters going through those two doors and up the stairs. Instead, there is a LINE forming out of the door directly beside it that leads to the escalator.
If you are an able bodied, otherwise healthy individual, there is no excuse for not trying to use your two legs to carry you as often as you can. Maybe not every minute of the day, but often.
If you are out of shape, then start by taking the stairs. Start using your body as the vehicle that it is. You are lucky to have it and to have the ability to move it.
I try to remind myself of this when I feel like whining or not doing something physical or when I yell at my mom for parking the farthest possible distance from whatever store we're going to.
Exercising, or even something as simple as walking, is not a burden. It is a luxury. It is something we are extremely fortunate that we are able to do as we please. Take advantage of it instead of taking it for granted.
When I was a freshman in college I lived in a dorm on the 9th floor of my building. And I took the stairs, up and down, almost every time I came and went. I did it in sneakers, I did it in sandals, and I did it with a full laundry basket. I walked up those stairs after I had just been at the gym.
When I was at school in Spain I started off the year refusing to take the elevator at all, because our classes were held in a 3 (maybe 4) story building. I went to the local gym. I walked on the nature trail behind my house when I had time. Then I got pretty sick for a month, stopped going to the gym, stopped walking and running as often, and stopped eating well. And, yeah, you guessed it! I stopped taking the stairs at school. I used being sick for so long in a foreign place as an excuse to “treat” myself, except really I was just treating myself like a garbage can. I made the conscious decision not to make myself a priority, and all of my healthy habits died off, one by one. I came home in the worst shape of my life, yayyyyy fun (not).
Obviously riding in an elevator was not the reason that I started gaining weight. But it played a part. Because every single day I had the choice to make healthy decisions, and every time I decided not to take the stairs I was not doing so.
Use your legs. Work em! Even if you go to the gym every day, you probably still spend a significant amount of time sitting at a desk or on the couch or in a car or wherever it may be. Go for a walk. Stretch. Park farther away from the grocery store (thanks mom). Delete Uberpool during the week (something I need to work on myself).
But for starters,