Review Category : outdoor fitness/boot camp

Stairs. Yep, our society is inundated with advice to take a small step (pun intended) towards getting active. Taking the stairs, instead of the elevator or escalator, wherever you go is advice that usually looms near the top of the list. Get that quick ‘butt blaster’, heart rate increase when walking into the office everyday, and your beginning an active lifestyle, [they] may say.

I have to admit that I used to be that motivated person at the office that skipped past the elevator to climb the whopping three flights of stairs to my office on daily basis.  I will say that even though it was only three flights, the combination of stairs and heels added an extra burn that “hurt so good.”

But, I’m not here to provide an excuse that taking the stairs on a daily basis is a sufficient “work out” to replace 30 minutes of moderate activity, suggested by the American Heart Association, www.heart.org, at least 5 days a week. UNLESS, you are climbing stairs for a continuous 30 minutes, with elevated heart rate, on a daily basis. Then, more power to you, rock those tight jeans or short shorts! I am here to encourage you consider taking stairs when possible, and even suggest adding climbing to new heights into your workout regimen. *GASP*

I honestly cannot stand the stairmaster at the gym. It’s a personal choice, but I struggle with mind-numbing, agonizing climb to no-where. It tends to be a common theme for me to loathe stationary machine work; I will run in a downpour before you see me running miles on a treadmill. With that being said, how do you add climbing stairs into your workout regimen if you loathe the stair master? That answer is simple for me to provide: get out of the GYM!

I am not bashing working out in the gym, I personally include a trip in my daily routine; But, why not take advantage of this gorgeous weather and get outside when you can?!

You will find me at the corner of Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor climbing the stairs at Lantern Bay Park almost on a weekly basis. Or I mix it up with a trip to Strands, which is just up the road from Lantern Bay. Don’t live that far south? Check out the almost 230 steps at 1,000 Steps Beach in Laguna. Trust me, there’s a reason behind that beaches namesake. Wherever you may choose, the point is that you don’t have to climb the stairmaster.

So, you may be asking why would I devote an entire blog post to climbing some stairs? Because, it’s a killer work out that has the potential to literally get your booty into shape, while also providing a great cardiovascular, core, and leg workout, and of course, you can do it all while being outdoors! Yay! I’m obsessed, I know, but that is why we have an entire blog about Outdoor Fitness.   Stairs are a great way to focus on aerobic conditioning, anaerobic fitness, lower body strength and lower body power.  Anaerobic fitness can be developed by quick succession stair repeats.  Strength can be developed by deep lunges and focusing on form, and power can be developed with hops, bounds and leaps.  Mix it up, get fit and have amazing legs.

-K

**Please consult your physician before beginning this or any fitness program, this is not medical advice these are merely suggestions and samples of workouts**

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It’s that time of year…Flu season, cold season, “Rick from the office just won’t take a sick day, and so he’s been coughing all over the copy machine, season.”  If you work with other people or have children in daycare (my 3 year old is our main household germ transmitter thanks to daycare), picking up a bug is nearly inevitable (but that’s not a reason to resist taking the Vitamin C, Zinc and Echinacea).  For those of us who like to work out or need to workout, this can present a bit of a problem and will likely result in some feelings of guilt, grumpiness or anger.  But, it may be ok to keep up a workout even though you are a little under the weather (bring hand sanitizer and tissues or a towel to the gym, so you don’t pay it forward).

sick when workout

Dr. Laskowski, of the Mayo Clinic, provides the following advice:

 

  • Exercise is generally ok if your symptoms are above the neck (this is true for the colds as well as hypochondriacs). If you’ve got a runny nose, congestion, a minor sore throat, feel free to battle on.  However, consider reducing your level of exertion to account for feeling crummy.
  • Don’t exercise if your symptoms are below the neck e.g., chest congestion, body aches, upset stomach.
  • Don’t exercise if you have a fever.

 

That being said, it may be more beneficial to focus on rest (especially a solid night sleep), recovery and stretching.  In order to maintain the progress you’ve seen from the effort you’ve already put in, try to eat clean (fruits, veggies, broths, marrow, some meat), drink lots of fluids, and stretch (unless you’re my husband who only eats Mountain Dew and Candy when he’s sick…if that sounds like you, Good Luck!).

 

 

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