Over the years I have been lucky enough to join a gym, but having Cerebral Palsy made it difficult for me to work out on some of their equipment.
It also never made any difference to the little muscle tone I have on my left side or my aerobic fitness because I am dealing with a brain injury and cannot exercise for long. I have recently taken to climbing stairs for exercise.
The following information may help other people think about this type of exercise.
The advantages of climbing stairs:
- Climbing stairs is low impact and is safe on the knee joints;
- It can be done any time of day;
- Climbing stairs tones the leg muscles and supports the heart;
- It allows us to burn many calories in a shorter period;
- It’s something we can build up to very quickly;
- It’s quick and easy and doesn’t cost a penny.
How to start:
- If this isn’t something you do often start by climbing two flights of stairs, this will help the heart and muscles adjust;
- Walk around the landing or march on the spot for a few minutes, so your body can adjust;
- Carry on with this routine for around 10 to 15 minutes a week until you’re comfortable climbing more stairs;
- Approximately add about 5 minutes more on to your routine a week or until you find the perfect level.
For any exercise, it’s important to wear the correct sports shoes; even for this type of exercise. An aerobic shoe or cross-trainer would be perfect. It’s also important to drink water before and after exercise so that you don’t begin to feel dizzy or flushed.
Always monitor your lower back and knees. It may not feel as though this kind of exercise is strenuous in comparison to other exercises, but a lot can go wrong if you fail to monitor your progress properly.
Stair climbing can be alternated with other exercises such as walking or cycling to avoid over injury, but as with all exercise; it is advisable to stretch and cool down after exercising.