Stair Breaks

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Unbelievably, we’re more than halfway through the month of November – how did that happen? In any case, this means that I’m in the beginning stages of hibernation. In a college student’s dictionary, this is defined as the following:

Hibernation (verb): to be in forced isolation, as a result of impending final projects and exams. May or may not result in productive behaviors.

This compulsory state of being means that I seldom leave my apartment, let alone my room. It often causes me to feel restless as my eyes glaze over from staring at my computer screen for long stretches of time.

These stairs couldn't look less inviting.
These stairs couldn’t look less inviting.

In turn, this also means that I don’t get to fit in as much exercise as I’d like each day. Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the most difficult days because they’re the busiest. Granted, I only have three classes on those days, but they’re spread out so by the time the last one ends I want nothing but to go home and process what I’ve learned over the course of the day (and maybe sit back for a bit and relax while I’m at it).

However, this sometimes has an undesirable affect on my blood sugars. The lack of activity sometimes results in yucky spikes that make my CGM buzz as well as infuriate me.

Normally, I would just take insulin to correct this. But as I’ve discussed in the past, I try to avoid stacking my doses at all costs. So what’s my next go-to?

It might sound kind of weird, but the answer is stairs. I live in a five-story apartment building, and right next to my apartment’s entrance is a stairwell. It’s kind of the perfect solution because most of the time, it works more quickly than insulin and it also forces me to get up and move around. They’re literally located right outside my front door, and I don’t have to brave the cold or find a spare block of time to make it to my school’s gym.

It’s fairly simple. Just as I’m starting to feel antsy and notice an unfavorable blood sugar, I seize it as an opportunity to take a break from my work and climb the stairs. Usually, after about 15-20 minutes, I’ll notice a difference. It’s a good feeling to know that sometimes control can be as simple as taking a brief timeout from homework just to walk around my apartment building.

Now if only the stairwell wasn’t so bleak and gray, then my little exercise breaks would be visually AND mentally appealing…

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Deborah Kanter

This post came at a perfect time: its 20 degrees out & snowing. We may have favorite fitness routines, but sometimes weather & busy schedules make the preferred plan impossible. Molly’s stair workout is a can-do, think-out-of-the-box plan. And I love Molly’s photo!

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