Take the stairs
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
Even these super cool and tough-looking guys on roller blades are doing it.
If you're not in a wheelchair or have some other disability, take the stairs. It is an insult to people who can't to not do so. I work at a co-working space and there is an entrance floor, a first floor, and a second floor. The amount of healthy young people I see waiting to take the elevator from the first floor i.e. the middle floor, to go either down or up, is appalling.
Take the stairs. It's exercise. For a few flights of stairs it's almost always faster than taking the elevator. It doesn't use electricity. It sends oxygen to your brain. It works every muscle in your lower body including quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. And if you don't work out, but want to start working out, this is a little step in the right direction - a minor habit change that can have you feeling good and can reverberate to other healthy habits across other areas of your life especially if you're feeling stagnant. It's a little like flossing.
Walk up escalators if you can. The amount of people - young healthy looking people, who stare at me or think I'm rude when I ask them to move over so I can walk up the escalator is wild. That's what they were designed for!
I'm not advocating for people to start walking up fifty flights of stairs in the morning to get to their offices, although this would be incredible exercise. But a few flights of stairs here and there is extremely good for you. If you aren't used to doing it, I think you'd be surprised at how winded and out of breath you'll get after a getting up a floor or two.
I try to have one day a week where I fully rest - a sabbath if you will. I happen to typically apply mine on Saturday, the Jewish day of rest. I try not to work, I don't do any of my typical workout regimen, tending to favor light strolls or dancing or something as the physical activity of the day as opposed to lifting or cardio. I try not to use my phone, or move furniture around, or stuff like that. It's actually a wonderful practice and will be talked about more on this blog soon.
On my day of rest, I take the elevator! This may sound strange to those particularly familiar with the Jewish tradition of not using electricity on the sabbath. This turns out to be the one day of the week that many religious Jews don't take the elevator. I do it the opposite way.
The feeling of not having to trudge up the stairs after a long and tiring day is actually pure bliss and I'm hyper aware of how restful it feels to me. As the next day begins and I have to employ the discipline required to start taking the stairs again, I feel my resistance to returning to the pain of the slight burn I'm going to feel all week in my legs and I long for the easy livin' of elevator ridin'.
But that burn is what makes my sabbath rest so blissful. I've created the work required to enjoy the rest. I think this can be extrapolated to all forms of work, and the relationship between work and true rest is something I'll continue to explore in these pages.
Until then, take the stairs!
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