Monday, October 4, 2010

Taking The First Step

Today I tried stair climbing for exercise.  There are three floors to the office building in which I work, and 48 stairs divided (unevenly) among four flights.  After work I changed clothes, put on my heart rate monitor and got moving.  In 30 minutes I burned 228 calories and got my heart rate as high as 125—68 percent of maximum—just by walking the stairs.  My average heart rate was 109—59 percent of maximum—and that’s not super impressive but today wasn’t about intensity.  I wanted only to see what kind of workout the stairs could offer.  At the end of the workout my legs were trembling a little and it was clear that I had asked them to do something unfamiliar.  That’s good.  I’ve found something in my legs that cycling doesn’t hit, and as these workouts progress I will add new strength.  Other lessons learned: get a pair of cross-training shoes and keep a towel handy.  My running shoes seemed a little light duty for stair climbing, especially rounding the corners for each flight.  That will only get worse as I increase the tempo.  And a towel is a must.  There’s very little air moving in the stairwell and today I was sweating pretty heavily after about 15 minutes.  But overall today’s experiment was a success.  With a few little adjustments, stair climbing could be a good cross-training activity this fall and winter.

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