Get moving! Why You Should Always Take the Stairs
If you’ve noticed that you may have put on a couple of kilos recently, then you’re probably not alone. Lockdown was not kind to our bellies for many reasons. Apart from, perhaps, stress eating or not going to the gym, most of us were not moving as much as usual. Working from home for many meant that some of us didn’t even bother getting out of bed to answer emails at 9am, but slept with our laptops in easy reach for the next morning. We no longer had our daily walk from the bus or the car to the office, or didn’t walk the kids to school or to the bus stop. If we’re honest, this might be more of a reason why we might have gained a little, rather than not going to the gym.
Whilst the gym is a great way to burn calories, according to Breaking Muscle, a typical gym session would last around an hour and help burn roughly 300 to 400 calories per session depending on your weight, height, and type of workout. But what about those other 23 hours? Many people, especially those in a sedentary job, spend the day sitting down hardly moving, and it’s no different when they get back home from work.
A workout, especially when dieting, might leave you less energised, and you would most probably opt to take the elevator rather than the stairs in a partly unconscious bid to save energy, and to some extent because we all think that going to the gym was already enough for the day.
Why Take the Stairs?
Whilst signing up at a gym is everyone’s first priority when trying to lose a little weight, the effects of the rest of your daily activities on your calorie burn is usually underestimated. We’re referring to activities that we burn calories through when awake that are not eating or intentional exercise, such as walking to the bathroom, taking the stairs, and even chewing gum.
Consider this. If you do opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator, play with your kids after work instead of being too tired, or park further from the office instead of trying to find the closest possible parking space (since you’re late for work again because you had a long morning workout), then these activities might add up to burn the same amount of calories you would at the gym. You might even burn more calories this way, making that gym membership just as useful as any of all these other activities combined. From The Sports Edit, we can see that just 5% of calories from the whole day come from exercising at a gym, in comparison to the 15% of the calories you burn during the day that come from these kinds of activities.
Of course, the gym is a great way to keep fit, unwind, and focus on some you-time. But we need to give more attention to the rest of our day too, as we find ourselves opting for more and more convenience over moving.
Here are our top tips on how to keep moving and burn those extra calories throughout the rest of your day.
Take the stairs
Unless you have immobility issues that prevent you from using the stairs, try to avoid the elevator as much as possible. If you need to get to a high floor, stop at the floor below and walk up the rest.
Park further away
Park your car a few minutes’ walk away from your destination, or, if you use public transport, get off a stop before yours and walk the remaining distance.
Drink more water
Drinking water has tonnes, or should I say, gallons, of benefits, but that’s another blog for another day. Besides many health benefits, drinking water means more trips to the bathroom and more refills from the water cooler, making sure you get up and stretch your legs periodically.
Hold outdoor meetings
If possible, try and hold your meetings outdoors or away from the office so that you could not only benefit from some fresh air, but also move more to get to your destination and back.
Get moving during break time
Get the most out of your break by going out for a stroll instead of staying at your desk.
Wash your car
Wash your car! Goodness only knows it probably needs a good clean! Or is it just ours? Ok, so this may not be a daily activity but washing your car yourself as opposed to going to a car wash will get you moving. If it’s not the car you’re cleaning, we’re sure you could find a thing or two around the house that need a good scrub.
Adopt a puppy
Now, we’re not advocating adopting a puppy just on this basis as there are many other factors to consider should you decide to make such a commitment, such as space, time, and young kids. But a puppy is a great way to get moving, not only because you will need to walk it around twice a day, but it will also keep you busy playing with it. Also, adopting a puppy instead of buying means that you could give a dog in need a truly loving home whilst help stop breeding for profit.
Watch TV… whilst ironing
Combine typical sedentary tasks or chores with an activity that will get you moving. Why not do the ironing when watching tv instead of just slumping on the sofa? Walk on a treadmill whilst reading?
Move in your spare time
Whether it’s by playing an interactive video game as opposed to a sedentary one, by gardening, or even by dancing in your spare time, it beats the heck out of just sitting down and watching TV.
Whether it’s opting to take the stairs instead of staying in a crowded smelly elevator, going to a shop instead of getting online deliveries, meeting with friends or getting up to talk to colleagues instead of only communicating over the phone or email, or even by walking short distances instead of taking the bus, we could all add some extra activity in our lives. And just when you start feeling like you’d rather wait for the elevator than take the stairs, remember that, as per FSP’s calculations, burning just an additional 100 calories a day by performing extra activities like going up those steps, in the long run, could mean a loss of almost 5kg per year.
Whether its going for a walk or taking a Health Insurance Package with Laferla, make sure you always put your health first.