Monday, December 21, 2009

Climbing stairs as an exercise

When I was in Sichuan the tour guide made this observation. When he was in Singapore, he was surprised that people queue up for the lift, even though they only need to travel a few floors. In Chengdu, most buildings are up to 5 stories only, and people are used to walking the stairs.

I agree with this observation. I have now decided to walk up the six floors to my office in Ang Mo Kio, instead of taking the lift. This will give me the chance to exercise a few times a day.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan, At your age, you may worn out your knee cap. At your age, climbing stairs is not the right type of exercise for you.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with 4.51pm. If you are not planning a knee replacement soon, better avoid this exercise and do brisk walking instead,

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:51 PM

Based on your logic, will cycling also worn out knee cap?

Anonymous said...

Rex comments as follows,
Cyling is unlikely to wear out the knee caps. Because cycling involves a machine - the bicycle gear and wheel system - which has a mechanical advantage (load is a proportion of the effort), this is completely different from walking upstairs where the entire body weight goes against you according to gravitaional law.
The machinery in a cycle is one of the simplest and most ingenious and useful invention of mankind to date. With the proper gear ratio (just like changing gear in car), it does not take much effort to pedal up a moderate slope - the cylcist just lowers or loosen the gear, and pedal many more revolutions to cover the sloped distance, and if the gearing is correct the cyclist WILL NOT feel any extra load any more than he would be walking on a flat road!!! Knee cap could be strained if the wrong gears are selected. Just make sure the bicycle is a geared system (such bikes are also known as mountain bike). It is so cheap, around $60 to $100 is enough for a 12 gear basic bicyle. I use it everyday, it is green, it is fun, and parking is free.


Tan Kin Lian said...

There are hundreds of million people around the world who jog, walk and climb stairs everyday. Some of them have weak knees and will suffer some damage. But, for the others, they will be okay.

I will ask my knees if they can take the strain from walking 6 flights of stairs 2 times a day. If they cannot, then I will have to stop. So, far they told me that it is okay.

Be willing to try. Don't be over cautious, which is a habit among some Singaporeans. Anyway, thanks for the advice.

Falcon said...

Living 500 metres from an MRT station is also a good way to "force" oneself to have abit of exercise as otherwise the opportunity is just not there in our busy lifestyles. Walking up a flight of stairs actually build up stamina. Initially one would pant even walking up two floors but soon one will get use to it and will not pant even when walking up 6 floors. This is how our body adjust and regulates itself in response to exercise. Also, the vertical movement will activate our lymphatic system and increase our immunity.

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