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Climbing Stairs in Manhattan Buildings for Exercise

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's been said over and over again, but it's worth reconsidering now: For better health, take the stairs whenever possible.

    It would be difficult, in fact, to avoid taking stairs in this city, where subways and tall buildings necessitate some shuffling up the steps.

    But for the vigorous high-kneed, glute-squeezing kind of aerobic activity that steady stair-climbing provides, there's no need to fiddle with the step mill at the gym when staircases -- flights and flights of staircases -- abound.

    Take it from New York Times reporter Steve Lohr, who writes today about his stair climbing routine: "[A]t work, at the New York Times building, I climb nine flights, typically three times a day, for a total of 609 steps, up but not down." 

    And those climbs go a long way toward increase aerobic capacity and reducing cholesterol, according to an exercise physiologist he spoke to.

    Sure, there are also the serious stair runners and races that has brought stair-climbing closer to a legitimate sport, at least in New York City.

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    But all it takes are "[s]hort bouts of exercise," said the physiologist. "It all adds up."

    And as one woman observed in the Times article, "[W]e live in New York City, and have this great resource here -- so many buildings with so many stairs."

    NY Times: Stair-Climbing Workouts and Staircase Races

    Do you consciously opt for the stairs instead of the elevator? Tell us how you incorporate stair-climbing into your day.