10 March 2015


Until this week (it's still light when I get home!) it was impossible for me to do anything resembling exercise during the week. 

I feel like I need to keep mentioning: leave home at 6:40 am. Get home by 7 pm. Days. So long.

My carpool and I park a 12-15 min walk from work, which gets us moving a little in the morning and again at the end of the day, but it's not enough. The rest of the day could literally be spent in one spot, except for going to the bathroom and the kitchen. 

That doesn't work for me. Not only am I constitutionally incapable of just sitting for that many hours, but sitting like that kills you slowly. I mean that literally, not psychologically. (Also, when I sit for that many hours, my butt hurts.)

It's been a while since I had such a sedentary job. The work I did for the last four and a half years involved sitting, but I also walked to another building at least once a day, sometimes twice, and often to a further building. I'm not used to sitting for so long, plus there is an hour in the car on either end.

And so, I have developed a strategy. I try, at least five times a day, to run up and down the stairs in my building twice, for a total of ten stair runs per day.

Any other stair climbing does not count toward the ten ascents. If I go downstairs to run an errand and take the stairs back up one floor, that does not count. If I go up two flights to talk to someone, that does not count. It has to be two ascents up all three flights of stairs to count toward the total. 

It's like interval training for the desk worker.

Sometimes it feels a little strange to pass someone on the stairs going down and then run right back past them going up. 

"You are literally running up and down the stairs," someone said to me today. 

Yes, that is what I am doing. Every day. 

I don't always make 10 ascents. Today I only managed eight, because I took a walk to the Bucks of Star over lunch. (I left my chai in my car in Gone West, the horror. I didn't feel awake all morning. It's the ritual and the sugar, not the caffeine. I'm not actually even sure there is any caffeine in the chai powder I use.) 

Yesterday I did twelve ascents. 

In the absence of evening time in which to exercise, this is all that stands between me and heart disease. 

We'll find out whether it's working for fitness when I go for a hike in two weeks. 

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