Saturday, 20 September 2014

Climbing Steps For Health

Climbing the Steps of Dubrovnik: an Adventure in Health

Looking at Dubrovnik's Old Town and the Adriatic Sea from Dubrovnik Steps

For any traveler, climbing steps in Europe is an adventure in health as much as a beautiful, historical wonder to experience. Just like doing a step class at the gym, step-climbing on real stairs or steps uses up many more calories than walking, is good for your heart, and is a quick way to get your legs into great shape.

An article by the Huffington Post describes how someone lost 96 pounds by climbing six flights of stairs a day, and the Times of India reports that in addition to maximizing your cardio efforts, climbing steps increases your core muscle strength, tones and sculps your body, and provides a good low-impact workout.

Walking Up the Dubrovnik Steps

Walking down the Dubrovnik Steps from Villa Klaic is beautiful!
The Dubrovnik steps to Villa Klaic, 15 minutes on foot (walking straight up the steps) from the Old Town on the Adriatic Sea  are a case in point. The first time I climbed them a month ago, it felt like a lot longer than 15 minutes. I was so out of breath once I got to the top that I could hardly breathe, but afterwards I felt fantastic! The second time I finished the climb I was slightly less out of breath, and the next day my legs really hurt. But when I looked around at all of the other 40+ women in Dubrovnik, I noticed that they all have toned thighs and are slender. Who wouldn't be, climbing those steps all your life?

More Breathtaking Scenes Walking Down the Dubrovnik Steps

Beautiful doors line the walls of the Dubrovnik Steps
Pondering the beauty of Dubrovnik while walking down the steps was truly breathtaking too. People's homes, gardens and terraces are all encased by thick 6-foot or 7-foot high stone walls. It is these walls that provide the entry point to the homes, and many homeowners took special pride in installing gorgeous doors.

Gardens inside the walls of the Dubrovnik Steps
Peering inside homeowners' open gates was a marvel. Fruits I had never seen grow on trees before were everywhere - lemons, oranges, olives, and something that I thought might be pomegranates...

Climbing Steps Wherever You Are

A view of Dubrovnik's Old Town from a different set of steps
It's easy to get sidetracked by the beauty you can see by looking across whatever scene you see when you arrive at the top of some steps wherever you happen to be. But the most important part is to just climb them.  Livestrong has come up with an interesting way to calculate how many calories are burned by climbing steps:

Divide the number of calories you burn per mile by the number of steps it takes you to walk a mile. The result is a unique-to-you conversion factor you can use to calculate how many calories you burn from the number of steps you take as you walk. For example, the calculation would look like this for a person who burns 99.75 calories per mile and walks a mile in 2,200 steps:

Conversion factor = 99.75 calories per mile / 2,200 steps per mile = 0.045 calories per step

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