I used the stair climber at the gym for the first time in YEARS this week. I walk up 5 flights of stairs to work every day, so I usually feel like that is enough stairs for me. But the stairs kill me! No matter what shape I’m in, I am completely exhausted by the time I reach the top. So, I am going to start doing them more frequently.
Stair-climbing strengthens your muscles, heart and lungs for better running. This motion uses the same muscles as lunges and squats. Stairs force you to work against gravity which helps you build strength and power. You need both for running. Also, stair-climbing forces you to utilize muscle stabilizers, like the gluteus medius, that get neglected during regular runs since you are balancing on and activating one leg, briefly, as the other moves to the next step. Strengthening these areas helps reduce your risk of injury.
Also, stairs are much steeper than most hills. Indoor stairs have roughly a 65% grade (this compares to Boston’s Heart Break Hill with a 4.5% grade). This is why stair-climbing accelerates your heart rate so rapidly and makes you breathe faster to take in more oxygen which improves your VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise). A greater VO2 max means you can run harder and for longer a duration.
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that short bouts of stair-climbing five days a week for eight weeks improved VO2 max by 17% among young women.
So, take the stairs at work. And I’ll do the stair climber at the gym!
And how precious are my GOTR girls?? This was one of our activities from the week! For every lap we ran, we had to describe something having to do with how we felt being plugged into the positive Girls on the Run cord or what helped us to be plugged into the positive cord. These girls are awesome!
Food for Thought: Berries, Mango, Citrus. Research shows fruit-eaters have a lower risk for heart disease. Load up on a variety of heart-protecting nutrients, such as anthocyanins (in berries), carotenes (in mango), and vitamin C (in citrus). Aim for three different types of fruits daily.
Quote of the Day:
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” -Haruki Murakami
This recipe was pretty good. A said he was a fan. This is actually one of the sweets I have made since February 11th! However, IMO, gimme a butter biscuit or gimme a cinnamon scone.
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar + more for dusting biscones
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine the flours, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamom. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture has a sand-like texture. Add the cinnamon chips, then add the milk and stir gently until you have a soft dough and no flour remains in the bowl.
- Using a large ice cream or cookie scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the biscones with the beaten egg, then dust with granulated sugar. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until just golden, being careful not to overbake. Cool completely on wire racks.
Courtesy of Let’s Dish