By Promod Puri/Georgia Straight
The fun in life includes some simple recreational activities in our daily life. And the one I like the most is just a few steps away as part of my everyday up and down commute.
These are the stairs leading up to our apartment. Over the years I have done this personal Grind hundreds of time. Although my experience with stairs is quite extensive, still I would not call myself a stair-master.
But as a veteran of the stairs I have learnt some techniques and some dos and don’ts of going up or down. These know-hows are not meant for practicing to hike Mt. Everest, but simply to enjoy the staircase walk as a physical activity. Stairs make an excellent place to get daily dose of cardio and some belly alignment.
They say keep a balance in life. That is true for stairs too.
In this upscale workout keeping the body in balance is essential. Tripping and slipping often happen when the body wobbles due to imbalance. Balancing exercises are quite common in gym. A popular one is trying to balance body on a hemisphere shaped ball. At home one can practice balance by standing on one foot or keeping one foot in front of the other for as long as possible. Balance requires concentration. Or to be more precise it is meditation in action to coordinate mind and body.
Now on to the stairs. A brief stretching of legs, keeping a uniform pace and raising each leg almost parallel to upper body for each step, are some of the tips of the trade. At little advance stage one can climb two steps at a time. Or do a little bit of descending acrobat of lifting the entire body by firmly holding railings on either side and then dropping both the feet on just one step down, not two.
Another tip: While going up or down, heels or toes should not be hanging down rather whole foot be placed on each step. This gives full footing with more safety as well. A trivial act of misplacing a foot can be the cause of a serious fall. Looking down is not only a humble posture but a better choice to avoid stair accident.
If safety is the main concern, and it should be, then the cardinal principle is the use of hand-railings all along the stairs. Railing is primarily meant to be a support system for fall-free stair walk. Curves, bends and sleekness of a staircase are the aesthetic elements which don’t promise safety.
It is often said when going up or down the stairs do nothing, no phone, no buttoning of shirt, etc.
Keeping these safeguards in mind stairs offer a simple, easy and free recreational activity.