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Lay Down Lazy Habits: Is It Time for You to Reconquer the Stairs?

The first passenger elevator was installed in 1857. Later on, in 1899, the first commercial elevator was created. Both of those inventions would go on to proliferate by the millions throughout the world, and they make even the highest floors in the tallest buildings easily accessible to anyone.

Automation and convenience have been a plus for society in many ways, but there’s a flipside. Elevators, escalators, modern transportation, and office work have mitigated the need for people to be physically robust. Bingeing on fast food and other highly processed foods causes people to pack on pounds much more easily than they can shed them. And so for many of us, taking a flight of stairs up one or two stories is a major physical undertaking worth avoiding whenever possible.

This wasn’t the case for most of human history, but over the last half century or so, it’s become normal to be chunky, clunky, and completely out of shape, even among young people. The truth is that stairs have a thankless job nowadays. I watch what most people do when a flight of stairs is located near an escalator, and they can choose which one they’ll take. Stairs, more often than not, are shunned.

But good, old-fashioned stairs still appeal to me. Call me anachronistic, but I don’t care. Whenever I see a flight of stairs, I see an opportunity for automatic exercise. If I happen to be carrying something heavy, that makes the opportunity even better in my mind. Climbing and conquering a staircase is something I look forward to.

We’ve got to start turning our lazy habits around. Whenever you see a flight of stairs, see an opportunity. Get in the habit of bypassing the elevator or escalator and taking the stairs instead. It’ll keep your legs and hips strong and increase your heart rate a little. It’s a simple habit whose benefits add up in the long run. It requires no training, no equipment, no cost, and little if any extra time. If something so easy feels hard to you, that should be wakeup call.

Sayonara until next time.


*Pep Talk has not been authored in whole or in part by any artificial intelligence tools.

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