This is an exciting day! It's my first post on Healthy by Kelly and the first monthly challenge. It's also April Fools Day and I wish I had a cool prank to tell you about but I was lame and didn't do anything. Anyway, I'm happy to share the first monthly challenge- after doing a lot of research on health behaviors, I have learned that the best way to reach your goals is by creating smaller goals and making gradual changes to reach your goals (2). This is why I want to post monthly challenges. It takes the guess work out of trying to figure out what you can do to be healthier and you've got me to motivate you, so no excuses!
FOR APRIL, I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE THE STAIRS.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. I know you hear this all the time, but do you do it?? According to a article published in ACSM Health and Fitness Journal you can assume you are burning about 1 calorie for every 5 stairs you climb (1). **What I don't like about putting a specific number of calories to an activity is that everyone is different and the amount of calories you burn depends on a lot of things- but this is a good guideline. AND the more stairs you climb, the more calories you burn! So I wouldn't get caught up on the number, I'd just climb as many stairs as you can!
By taking the stairs, you are participating in a small 'exercise' burst. Put simply, climbing stairs sparks a sympathetic response which will trigger the release of hormones, doing a number of things such as increasing your heart rate and you may even experience an elevated mood after. (Hopefully you won't be angry after climbing the stairs but if you are, don't give up! It will get easier the more often you do it.) Participating in exercise bursts throughout the day will help speed up your metabolism and contribute to a healthier heart.
Now that I explained why it's beneficial to take the stairs, I hope I inspired you to do so! You'll feel better when you make the healthier option. This month, try to take the stairs as much as you can.. if you're a student, take the stairs to your classroom or to your dorm room. If you work in an office building, take the stairs to your floor. If you're at the mall, take the stairs. If you have the option, take the stairs... I think you got it :)
Let me know how many flights of stairs you climb!! Good luck!
. Be Happy and Healthy,
(1) Peterson, J. (2006). Take ten: Take-and-save. ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal, 10(5), 50. Retrieved from http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2006/09000/
(2) Slentz, Cris A.; Houmard, Joseph A.; Kraus, William E. (2007). Modest Exercise Prevents the Progressive Disease Associated with Physical Inactivity. Exercise & Sports Science Reviews, 35(1): 12-23 doi: 10.1249/01.jes.0000240019.07502.01