Aug 2, 2010

The Down Climb

This may sound ridiculous, but believe me, I did it myself and the results are quite outstanding. The seemingly ridiculous method to lose weight is-stair climbing. We seem to disregard staircases and use only elevators for their convenience and speed-to such an extent that stairs are a necessity only because of emergencies. Well obviously I am not suggesting that to reach the 63rd floor you should take the stairs to burn of the heavy breakfast-that would probably make you late, and tremendously sweaty for your presentation or meeting or whatever the agenda is.

My point is, stair climbing is very efficient. In about twenty minutes of climbing, you could probably burn the same amount as an hour or more on a treadmill. And people have the wrong notion that climbing stairs is bad for the joints-particularly the knees. Actually, climbing down is what gets to the knees. So I would say if there's a long line outside the elevator to go down from the 63rd floor, stick to the line.

So, the seemingly preposterous work out has to start small. This varies from person to person, but the important point is to not exhaust your self. 5 floors as a start can work quite well. Try timing the climb. Start off by just walking up the stairs-don't get adventurous by trying to run up on the 1st attempt. Stop for the day. The next day, try to improve on the timing of the previous. Stick to the same number of floors until you reach a point when you can run (by run, I don't mean a full blown sprint) up the stairs at a maximum possible speed.

For a few days, just stick to the same number and keep on running, until your fitness reaches a point where you are just about breathing heavily.

Before I go ahead, I should add something of great importance. WARM UP BEFORE YOU START. A few simple stretches indoors, and even a small walk is sufficient, because you wouldn't want your muscles to cramp up when you climb.

Increase the number of floors by 1, and run up the original number which you are accustomed to, and walk up the last one. Repeat for a few days and then run up all. Pretty soon, you would be able to double and triple the number of floors.

At one point, this ridiculous work out made me lose 5 kilograms in a matter of 2-3 weeks, at which point I could climb 95 floors in 25 minutes, including the time it takes to go back down, and the breaks (going down by elevator obviously).

I would like to elaborate on the "breaks" that I mentioned above. If you can climb 20 or even 30 floors at a stretch, good for you. Otherwise, take fixed intervals to take breaks, catch your breath (by that I mean a minute or two, not 1 hour) and climb again.

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