January Challenge: Take the stairs

Before I launch into my plan for January’s challenge, I thought I might share my final figures for my December challenge, which was +1 walking (walking one minute longer every day, starting at about 15 minutes).

PS thanks to all those who commented on the two posts I scheduled whilst I was away – I’ve replied to every comment now (as always).  I do appreciate all those who read, and take the time to comment.

December Challenge wrap up

I was pleased to have people join me in this challenge, such as Amanda at the giraffe life in cold Canada and Fiona from Declutterer who didn’t post about the challenge just summarised her experience here and did let me know in the comments that she’d lost a dress size.  high five to her (and what the heck, God’s of exercise, where’s my dress size drop thank you very much?)

My walking location :)
My walking location 🙂

Here’s how I went:  I walked a total of 101.88km (62.2 miles), for a total time of 15.25 hours.  Sadly, whilst I was in Perth visiting the BF’s family, I did only two walks, one long walk alone from the hotel to the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere in Busselton (1hr 11 minutes and a distance of 7.8km – both are records), and a shorter walk around the neighbourhood with the BF which I didn’t track and include in that total.  I projected my total number of hours and kilometers after the first week or so, and hoped to walk 103.5 km over 19 hours.  It seems holidayitis attacked me.  I should really have gotten up and walked, seeing as I woke at 5am more often than not.  I’m not sure if it was the 3hr time difference or me getting used to early waking, but I didn’t know how I might fill the hours after the walk until ‘normal’ people awaken whilst away.  Excuses, I know :p

The beach and the start of Busselton Jetty
The beach and the start of Busselton Jetty

On the up side, I loved walking in the early morning.  I loved the crisp air, and the city before it’s truly bustling.  I love being alone to think and wake up.  Some days, gosh darn did I curse that alarm!  But over time, I came to realise I much preferred to walk in the morning than delay it to later in the day.  I will certainly aim to keep this routine up to some extent even if not every day, or increasingly further distances.  I should probably look to intersperse some jogging in there too, to work up to this half marathon running goal.

Busselton jetty
Jetty building over the shallow beach waters


January’s Challenge starts

In January, I aim to take the stairs.  I live on the third floor, so every day I plan to walk up and down the three flights of stairs (although I did skip it this morning after a red eye flight home and a 11kg suitcase).  I will also take the stairs over the escalators where both options are presented to me.  I will use my discretion re: lift vs stairs and the height of the climb.  At work, I will continue to always take the stairs.  I may allow myself the loophole of the lift for when I’m carrying the grocery or a plate of food, but I will keep those to a minimum.

My aim is to add this incidental exercise into everyday, and by blogging about it, keep myself accountable.  Simple enough really!

Anyone else willing to pledge a month of opting for the stairs over the lift or the escalator?  Think of those buns of steel you might end up with (no promises though!).

14 Replies to “January Challenge: Take the stairs”

  1. I'm fairly good on the stairs thing, living on the 4th floor with no lift I don't have much choice. I'm also terrified of escalators, can't even go near the top of one going down and it took me a few years of serious effort to train myself to be able to go up without panic. Familiarity breeds contempt though, so in the meantime I've gotten very used to always taking the escalator up out of the underground. So I'll pledge a month of trying to always walk up the stairs at the underground. I've actually already started in this vein a couple of days ago – I've been staying in a friends and she lives on the 5th floor (of a building where each floor has much higher ceilings than where I live, hence more stair between floors) and I've walked up twice of the four times (1 time had heavy bag on arriving, 2nd time had heavy groceries so took the lift up the four flights it goes). There are two sets of stairs from the platform to get out to the street of my local underground station, together making up nearly as many steps as the four floors at home so it'll be a great additional boost. I'll give myself a pass for days like today when I'll be arriving back with a heavy bag, though.

    1. I think it's fair to use a lift when you have baggage (although I remember so many hostels in Paris not offering that option, oh the pain!)

      Glad to have someone joining me in this – makes me feel like I'm not alone!

  2. I had stairs to my office in my last job but no longer! There will be very few stairs in my daily life now – weird! You did well on your walking – wouldn't I love an early morning beach walk about now!

    1. I'd have liked a beach this morning, instead it was a warm drizzly day, with people still leaving the pub at 5.30am!! Seems not everyone is back at work yet. Just took the stairs here at work with at least 18kg of milk (carried it with a colleague). Well that was a workout!

  3. I don't have many flights of stairs in a normal day – I live in a two story place and work in a two story building, so using an elevator isn't an option. However, when I lived on the 16th floor, I used the elevator every day (and cursed when they were broken). But if I'm presented with the choice between stairs or elevator this month (for a reasonable number of flights – let's say less than 5) I'll take the stairs. Good luck on your challenge!

    1. Thanks Amanda – good luck to you too. Every with only two storeys, there's some stair climbing in that. I can't imagine climbing 16 flights, wow! In French student housing, I think I was on the 7th floor, walking that almost killed me. I should have made it a habit though, once you're accustomed to something, it becomes easy.

  4. Wow – 102km! That's awesome! I didn't track my distance but it might explain why I feel so tired at the moment (this is massively more exercise than I ever do normally.) I am going to write a post on the Challenge soon!

    The Stairs also sounds great for someone like me who needs all the incidental exercise I can get. I live in a 2-storey house so I do have one flight of stairs to go up and down multiple times a day. There will probably be stairs at my new work to include in the Challenge as well!

    1. It is pretty impressive when you add all the kms up, isn't it?

      I also feel pretty tired after today's walk – ok now, but right afterwards, I struggled just to climb into the shower. But I must not give up – I have 20cms to lose from the waist, and 8kg to budge! Stairs + walks + water polo and hopefully some free boot camp, and something better give!

  5. What beautiful pictures. As much as I don't particularly like summer (mostly due to the humidity), they make me long for warmer weather! I have to admit, the cold has really gotten to me this year. I'm constantly freezing and never up to going outside unless I have to.

    I do take the stairs whenever possible, though. Unfortunately I don't encounter them much, but at my last job, we were on the basement floor, and I always took the one flight down and up. It was so simple, yet some coworkers took the elevator. Good luck on the challenge!

    1. Thanks – it does make summer lovely (though I agree, it can be way too humid here in Sydney). So sorry the cold is getting to you so much at the moment.

      Lucky for no stairs in your day to day, prior to this new apartment, I had a lot less with no access to fire stairs, and being on the ground floor with a basement carpark before. Still, it's a small way to improve my health and fitness.

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