Active Campus: Stairway to a heavenly body

More than likely, the last time you were told to take the stairs was at your first-ever floor meeting freshman year. Your RA and eco-rep wanted to importune conserving electricity in East Halls.

Well, nothing against being green, but aside from all the living plants and trees that need your help, you’re a living, breathing, young and beautiful college student whose health and body could use some help, too.

In a typical residence hall, there are 11 steps from the ground to the first floor, and then seven between each level after that. Think about how many times you’re back and forth from your building in one day. If you live on the fourth floor, and come in and out of your room five times a day, that’s 160 steps just counting the way up — 320 if you take them down, too. If you opted for the elevator each of those trips, you took zero steps, helping none of the following parts of your body:

Your butt: Stairs are an excellent way to tone your behind. Think squats — without actually having to do squats.

Your quads: On the way up, the front of your thighs are doing a lot of work. Remember, dresses and short-shorts will be in season before you know it…

Your calves: Though walking down stairs isn’t much of a challenge, it definitely does work your calf muscle. Want knockout legs even without heals?

Your heart and lungs: There’s no shame in being short a little breath after trekking up to your destination. The speedier you are, the more help to your cardiovascular system.

Your mind: The elevator is there, and it’s tempting — there’s no doubt about that. Feel a sense of control and pride in resisting the easy way out.

Realistically, taking an elevator isn’t even that convenient; you can probably make it to your room in the same amount of time. So do yourself a favor and just skip it. Take the steps.

Photo by Rhiannon Hedrick

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