Day 4: Using the Stairs
I was walking up to my grandparents’ second-story condo and contemplating which fitness routine I was going to tackle next, when my mom said, “hey! Why don’t you get some exercise by using the stairs?” I was about to smartly reply that while walking up two flights of stairs may be a legitimate form of fitness for many of the building’s residents it certainly wasn’t strenuous enough me, when I finally realized what she was getting at. By running up and down the stairs 10 times, I was able to burn calories, strengthen my legs and stabilize my core all at the same time. Then my mom showed me how to use the steps and railing to stretch out my calves and hamstrings, and bingo! A simple structure that I’ve passed every day instantly became my most effective fitness tool yet.
- Good For: Cardio, Toning, Sculpting, Stretching
- How it Felt: This activity was certainly effective and I appreciate how accessible it is. I also like that I couldn’t just stop in the middle of the steps the way I would on an elliptical. I recommend trying this one on your way down to the pool or beach, so you get it over with! If you try it later in the day, you might not have the energy or willpower to push yourself (at least I wouldn’t!)..
Snack Attack of Sesame Almonds: It turns out my grandma isn’t just a fitness extraordinaire, she’s also a healthy snack connoisseur! She turned me onto these very healthy (but scarily addictive) sesame almonds. I recommend taking out a handful and putting the rest away before you try them. Trust me, the line between engaging in a healthy snack and crazy binge is thin for these delicious nuts.
I’m not going to lie. I didn’t return to Boston 10 pounds (or even 1 pound) lighter. To be honest, I may have even gained weight this week. But the point of this experiment wasn’t weight loss, or even weight maintenance, it was an act towards healthfulness. I wanted to prove to myself and everyone else who enjoys staying fit but wants to relax on vacation, that the two are not mutually exclusive. I didn’t feel like any of my fitness activities detracted from my relaxation time, nor did I feel like any of my “healthy snacks” were less satisfying than chips and French fries. In fact, the exercise I did made me appreciate my moments of lounging even more, and I still allowed myself to indulge in French fries at dinner because I knew how healthy I had been during the day. Overall, I believe this experiment provided a great starting point and I am determined to make time for fitness on all of my future vacations.
If you have any workout tips for when you’re on vacation, please share them below!