Sunday, May 29, 2011

Take stairs whenever possible (Change 119)

Have you ever noticed how many movement-saving devices there are in our modern world?  Motorized transportation, escalators, elevators, moving sidewalks.   We've become so used to having something else move our body, that we are forgetting what it is like to move ourselves.

This point was brought home to me this past weekend.  I flew to Halifax to watch my mom become President of her charity organization.  We had a great trip, and I was proud to be part of it.  I've always thought I was fairly movement savvy, but I noticed several interesting things about myself while I was there.

My hotel room was on the third floor, yet for most of the weekend, I took the elevator to my room.  The airport had escalators and elevators to take me between floors for arrival, departure and baggage claim.  We took cabs to travel a few blocks around the city.   And I asked myself, why am I using these labour-saving devices?  Do I really need them or is it just habit?

I decided to try moving myself instead, and see how hard it was.  You know what?  It was pretty easy.  My room was a short flight of stairs down, across the landing and another short flight to the lobby.  I used the stairs to go up and down a level when I was at the airport.  I walked all over the city on Saturday, and enjoyed every minute of it.

If we all started taking the stairs, or walking a few blocks, the health benefits and environmental benefits would be enormous.  Less obesity, less pollution.  I'm going to try to translate this change in attitude to other aspects of my life.  Could I walk the kids to school?  Can I walk to get the mail?  How about the store or a friend's house?

In the mean time, I'm going to take the stairs whenever I can.


  1. I grew up in Halifax, and can attest that it is indeed a very walking-friendly city. In fact, my parents never owned a car the whole time we lived there.

    Now that I'm on the prairies, I get funny looks sometimes when I'm the only pedestrian, but it's a quick eco-friendly way to get in shape!