Ditch The Tank – Freediving For Life

Freediving is such a wonderful experience. I’ve always loved the wet element, and spend more time underneath the surface than above. The magical world that awaits us below surface is just breathtaking – It’s truly a whole new world. When you freedive you do not use an oxygen tank, and you are dependent on holding … Read more

Finding Joy in Hard Times

The year 2020 has been a hard year for many people all around the world. Covid-19 happened – It happened very sudden and it seems it’s here to stay for a while longer. Media is covered with all the negative Covid-19 brings – death rates, prohibited activities, unemployment etc. Finding joy in hard times can … Read more

Sweet Dreams Outdoors

Nature has a calming affect on your mind, and makes you sleep better. Many people have opened their eyes to sleeping outdoors – not only in nature itself, but even in your own garden, terrace or balcony (for those living in apartment buildings). A lot of us are struggling with different sleeping issues, and suffer … Read more

Stair Run Training – Workout Without Equipment

There is no doubt that the interest in stair run training has increased greatly in recent times, especially during the period when the gym had to close during the pandemic. There has been a growing trend among personal trainers to add stair running in their clients training programs – and clients seem to love it!

It is not necessary to pay a lot of money to do stair climb training. The only thing you need, is a decent staircase and a pair of good shoes. It is even possible to use the stairs inside your own home, provided you have an indoor staircase that is. I am a big fan of workout without equipment, and stair climb training is an exercise I will reintroduce to my own training program for sure – starting next week.

Not Used to Stair Running?

No worries, you`ll get there. All it takes is some practice, patience and a positive mindset – You can do it!

It is important to take your time if you are not used to stair running. It can seem a little scary at first, especially when you start to feel tired in your legs, and out of breath. Take the time to get used to it, and gradually increase the level of intensity as you start to feel more secure.

Some people find it more safe to exercise with others, and it is not a bad idea to find a good training buddy. This makes it easier to motivate and push each other along the way, and the progress may come even faster than if you go solo. It`s important to keep in mind that overdoing is killing the joy and motivation to continue, so start gently, and increase when you start to get the hang of it.

You will get a good workout in a staircase that has 10 – 15 steps, but if you want to take it further as you do better, you simply find a staircase with more steps. This is a good way to improve your own results. Stair running is both an intense cardiovascular exercise and a resistance training exercise, and you can burn somewhere between 600 and 1000 calories an hour during this type of exercise.

Getting Started – Favorite Sessions

If you have never tried stair running before, it is recommended to start by walking up the stairs at least the first 3 weeks. Increase to a light jog towards the end of each session these first weeks.

Strength exercises for legs and the core muscles are advisable, as these muscle groups are most exposed in stair running. Those who struggle with knee issues should try this carefully and consult a physiotherapist or a doctor before starting. Stair running may strain the knees, so it is important to take proper precautions.

Like any other exercise it`s very important to warm up before you start. This way you will get the blood flowing and limber up. Here are some suggestions:

  • Walk briskly for 5 – 10 minutes on a flat surface
  • High heels to knee kicks (repeat this in some rounds with 30 – 60 sec duration each)
  • Lunges (repeat this in some rounds with 30 – 60 sec duration each)

Now let`s get into the stair climbing. I`ve set up two favorite sessions to start with:

Long Stair Case Session: Stair Climbing

This session will challenge and improve your shape. We call this the 4 x 4 sessions. You run as fast as you can to the top 4 times, and down again with a leisurely jog to the bottom. After doing this 4 times, you rest for 2 minutes. You repeat this session 4 times in a total. This is a very effective and challenging exercise, but it is also very fun when you get the hang of it. The biggest joy is the feeling you`ll have when completed the sessions.

Short Stair Case Session:

 

This session also challenges your shape, but you will also get some strength training included to the exercise – which is an extra bonus!

In high speed, run 2 times up and down the stairs. Then you do 4 strength training exercises between the stair climbing sessions, each with 12 repetitions. Some suggestions for strength training exercises; Bulgarian split squat, push-ups, mountain climbers and squats (this is of course just a couple of suggestions. You can choose any other exercise you like better). You repeat this session 3 times in a total.

Don’t forget to stretch after the sessions. Stretching helps the muscles to recover faster, increases your movement range and flexibility and helps to reduce muscle fatigue.

One Staircase – Many Possibilities

Why stop there? A staircase has so much more to offer. There are many stair exercises, and it`s only your own imagination that sets the limits. You can train much more than just legs and buttocks in a staircase, here are four exercises – two for the lower body and two for the upper body:

  • Stairs Squat Jumps – Make sure you have 90 degrees in the knee joints. Push knees out and buttocks back. Jump one step at a time in the beginning. Muscles you are using: Front and back thighs, buttocks and abdomen.
  • Bulgarian Lunges – Take a big step forward and have your hind leg up at least one step. Push your hips forward and keep them pointing straight ahead. Slowly lower yourself until the knee on the back leg almost touches the ground. Remember to have the weight on the front leg. Muscles you are using: Front and back thighs and buttocks.
  • Push-Ups – start in the plank position and activate the abdominal muscles so that you do not collapse in the lower back. The body should be straight throughout the exercise. Push chest out. Gently lower yourself with the tip of your nose first. Go as deep as you can and push yourself up again. Muscles you are using: Chest, back arms and core muscles.
  • Triceps Dips – Sit on the steps. Place your hands on the stairs right next to the sides of your body. Tilt your butt slightly out from the steps. Lower your body by bending your elbows. The elbows should point straight back and avoid sinking into the shoulders. Lower yourself until you have 90 degrees in the elbow joint before pushing yourself up again. Muscles you are using: The back of the arms (triceps).

Remember the stretching when your done. I hope this will inspire more people to try some new workouts. There are so much we can do without any equipment and without any cost.

Happy times

Stair Running Benefits

  1. Strengthening your heart – The heart is getting better at moving blood and oxygen around your body. Stair running is a high intensity exercise, it makes the heart beat faster as you go on. Eventually the heart can’t beat any faster, and it will expand to be able to move the blood around your body faster – the more your heart expands the more blood it can pump through your body. The oxygen goes into your body and the carbon dioxide goes out the faster blood get pumped through your body. This can give you the benefit of greatly improving your cardiovascular fitness, and so on reduces the risk of high blood pressure, clogged arteries and weight gain.
  2. Improved balance – As you run the stairs your leg muscles repeatedly lift your body against the pull of gravity. In each step your body needs to stabilize and balance, and every little stabilizing muscle gets strengthened, and engages your core.
  3. Calorie burning – Stair running is a more advanced running activity than regular running, and this will result in more calories being burned. It`s also a much higher level of intensity, and you will burn more calories running in stairs. You burn twice the fat in half the time than if you run, and three times more than walking. If you want to lose weight, this is a great exercise to make that happen.
  4. Body toning – Stair running is a great way to strengthen your core muscles. It will tone and sculpt your body. It also engages every major muscle in your lower body – glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, abs and calves.
  5. Bone strengthening – This is a weight bearing activity, and it will help us build bone strength.

Happy runnerStairway to Health

We know that stair running can give us several health benefits, and is a form of exercise that does not take up much of our time. Because this is a high intensity exercise, all it takes is 20 – 40 minutes – most people can squeeze this into their busy schedule.

It`s an exercise possible to do both outdoors and indoors. I`m personally very fond of outdoor exercises, but if the weather is bad it can be tempting to stay indoors – then hopefully you have a staircase at home 🙂

Stair running reduces the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes among other things. It is also said that it has positive impact on our mental health.

Last bur not least, stair running makes walking the stairs much easier and you might just choose the stairs instead of the elevator when your at work or other places. The energy level will increase and you will be able to do other sports for a longer time than before (running, walking, hiking, swimming etc).

Those who struggle with knee issues can walk up the stairs, and take the elevator down again. Walking down stairs puts more strain on the knees than walking up. Stair running makes everyday life easier. We should all try to squeeze in at least one session a week.

Choose the stairs instead of the elevator for a couple of weeks, and see if you feel any change. I`d really appreciate if you find the time to tell me how it went. Good luck!

-Cathy-

Healthy Life Activities – Because Life is Precious

A much higher focus should be placed on healthy life activities, – both from the school’s and from our politicians. We see in Norway today, that more and more of the large outdoor organizations work closely and as a team with politicians and health professionals. They do so to increase the motivation for the healthy life activities of the Norwegian people – Because life is precious. This is an important and big step in the right direction, and it has become very popular in this country.

There is no doubt that there has been a gradual change in the world since the Industrial Revolution (1700s – 1800s). We are much less physically active – both at work and in our own free time. Worldwide, 4 out of 5 young people aged 13-15 are less physically active than recommended. This is a very unfortunate direction.

The use of TV and computer has become a big part of our everyday lives. This has led to sedentary work. We cycle and walk less to and from work and in our free time in general. This is of course because many of us own a car or have other means of transportation.

Nature – The world’s best Health Club

My Ridgeback Sandra

There are countless alternatives to healthy living activities, but my biggest favorite is Mother Nature. You can do a bunch of different physical activities in nature, and it is truly an arena that offers opportunities for everyone – both physically healthy people and people with various disabilities. It`s the world`s best health club for sure. And the best thing of it all; It`s free of charge, and anyone is allowed, whenever they want to. Day or night, it`s always open.

Here are some examples of healthy outdoor activities:

– Go for walks – In the woods, on the beach, or wherever you may wish.
– Mountain hikes
– Jogging
– Training – Use the nature: Lumber lifting, pull-ups in trees, climbing in trees, push-ups etc.
– Fishing trips
– Scuba diving
– Paddle – Kayak, canoe or paddle board

I could still list countless varieties of outdoor activities, because it is only the imagination that sets the limits.

I am a personal fan of really enjoying the nature experience. So if I`m going for a walk, mountain hike or paddle trip, I need the “me-and-nature-alone time” (and of course my precious, Sandra, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, is always my outdoor companion). I have never understood the ones that manage listening to music when they are outdoors in nature – there are so many beautiful natural sounds to listen to. For me nature sounds is a kind of meditation, and it`s really balm for my soul. Body and mind gets to heal from the hectic world we live in, and recharges my batteries.

If I’m out for a run or a jog, I sometimes need music to drive me. This is when I’m looking for the more intensive work out, and music really works wonders in the form of pushing me. We are all different, so it`s all about trying to find the right way for oneself.

Organized Sports in Nature

Humans are social beings, and most often thrive with others. It is a necessity for us to socialize. Being able to be part of a community is an important part of personal development.

We all have different backgrounds, and while some have great memories from a good childhood and upbringing, many have less good experiences, and maybe even traumas. They often struggle to become social beings, and so on through both schooling and careers. It is therefore important to remember that not all people have a solid foundation to start from. They often find it very difficult to feel comfortable in a social setting. How about inviting a person you know could benefit from it, to an organized sports in nature?

There are many social activities to participate in, and it`s not always necessary to pay for a membership. How about starting an activity with friends and friends of friends? In this way, new acquaintances arise, and you get inspiration, motivation and joy from, and with others.

Hiking together

Here in my hometown, there are several options for organized outdoor activity. Some might ask for a small fee, while others keep their exercise groups free of charge. One of the organized sports in nature here in Sandnes is called Mountain Hiking. This group was created by a young man who started hiking for his own part, to get in better shape. He eventually wanted to invite other hikers to join the team. Now the group has grown large, and many new friendships have emerged from it.

When we exercise / are in physical activity with others, it is not only the physical health that improves. This also stimulates our mental health, which in turn leads us to sharpening our senses and getting more focused. This is a great way to socialize, and we get a free health benefit out of it. The positive consequences of an active life are; physical, mental and social. Outdoor life leads to better quality of life and good public health.

The Words of Some Scientists

Here are some words from a handful of scientist:

  • Physical activity prolongs life by eight years and postpones chronic diseases by 5-6 years – all it takes ishalf an hour of activity a day for adults, and an hour for young people. Report from the Norwegian Directorate of Health
  • It is better to get the inactive to become moderately active, than to increase the activity for those who are already active. Karl-Gerhard Hem, researcher at SINTEF’s Department of Global Health and Welfare.
  • If serious measures are not taken, today’s sedentary children risk living shorter lives than their parents. American and Norwegian health surveys conducted over time.
  • The health benefits of physical activity are 10 times higher than previous calculations have shown. Those who cycle towork gets 8 years longer with a good quality of life than those who are inactive. Report from the Norwegian Directorate of Health during the National Cycling Conference in Bergen in 2010
  • There are three relevant factors that have a positive effect on us when we exercise outdoors; the physical activity, the environmental change and the nature experience. M.L. Sjong, Directorate for Nature Management
  • Access to nature and hiking opportunities in the local environment has a positive effect on our well-being. TNS Gallup, The Nature and Environment Barometer, 2010.

Go active

Going from inactive to active – One step at a time

Society is set up so that we automatically get help from technological and motorized aids in our everyday lives. This has led to machines often doing the work for us, and the result is that we have become less active. It is therefore important that we focus on getting some physical activity every day – only 20 minutes of daily physical activity is enough to improve our health.

Unfortunately, it has become the case that very many people, both young and old, have an inactive life or a life with too little physical activity. The good news is that this is very easy to reverse. You just have to keep in mind that you don’t set the goals too high in the starting phase.

It is also important to keep in mind that everyone starts from a different point of view – some without any experience and motivation for physical activity, while others often have experiences from earlier in life but needs to find the motivation

A personal example:

I always wanted to be a jogger, but it would take me a few decades before I dared to start. The methods used when I went to school in my teens killed all desire to continue jogging. I have always associated jogging with something negative because of this. Instead of learning the correct running style and informing properly, we were thrown into ground intervals and long jogs – completely without a basis to start from.

When I finally decided, in my grown up years, that it`s time, I proceeded with the following:

  • Week 1 – 2: Monday and Thursday – 30 min. walk. Stretching for 5 min. front and back thighs
  • Week 3 – 4: Monday – 30 min. walk. Thursday – Walk 10 min + jogs 5 min + walk 5 min + jogs 5 min + walk 5 min. Stretching for 5 min. front and back thighs
  • Week 5: Monday, Thursday and Saturday – 30 min. walk. Stretching for 5 min. front and back thighs
  • Week 6 – 7: Monday and Thursday – Walk 10 min + jog 7.5 min + walk 2.5 min + jogs 5 min + walk 5 minStretching for 5 min. front and back thighs.
  • Week 8 – 9: Monday – Walk 10 min + jog 7.5 min + walk 2.5 min + jogs 5 min + walk 5 min. Stretching for 5 min. front and back thighs. Saturday – Jog 15 min. Stretching for 5 min. front and back thighs.

It is very important to find the right sneakers that will fit your foot. I encourage everyone to ask for help from knowledgeable staff at a local sports shop.

Since completing this program, I have increased my jogging distances and become fond of jogging. I have participated in several races – which is a further development of my goals. Living with the woods as my garden, jogging is a very good alternative for me to stay active.Happy jog

YOU CAN DO IT!

We all have a personal responsibility for our own health, and how we want to teach our children the right way. Choosing a path where healthy life activities are in focus will give us great health benefits – both physically and mentally. The human body is a fine machinery and must be maintained in the same way as any other machinery.

I have given you several examples of healthy life activities that I personally value. Now it`s up to you to choose what is the right way for you. We are all very different individuals, and what is right for you is not necessarily right for me. However, there is one thing I know goes for every single one of us, and that is; We all benefit from investing in our health.

Good luck finding your way! I`m cheering for you all! You can do it!

 

-Cathy-

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