As someone who is super active—I work out around 5 times a week—I wondered what would happen if I actually made it a point to take the stairs every day. Here is what happened when I hoofed it up the stairs every day for a month.

After finishing the challenge, I noticed that a few things did not change: I kept taking the stairs up and down, and I felt more confident doing so. Even though I have always had some sort of cardio in my exercise routine, I always would have to catch my breath when I climbed a long, steep flight of stairs.

Nowadays—thanks to this challenge—I do not struggle anymore. Ascending the stairs in my building feels like second nature and, frankly, is a lot faster than waiting for the elevator. I also gained strength in my legs, my stomach, and my glutes to help me fly up stairs faster than I ever have before, making them feel less intimidating or troublesome. I also created a ripple effect of sorts with my friends:

Because I was doing this challenge and working at getting less dependent on elevators, I encouraged them to do it with me, especially when we were together. They would head for the flashing button and I would nod them toward the stairs and off we would go. It is a simple gesture, but like most fitness challenges, it is worth the extra effort, both for body and spirit.

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