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Taking the Stairs as a Hobby?
Written by Clare Sohn | Published. 2021.07.06 08:03 | Count : 355

The coronavirus pandemic is lasting a lot longer than anyone, including myself, has ever expected. Starting back in December of 2019, it has been over a year slowly approaching two. Personally, as the pandemic started, I realized a great change in my lifestyle as I often found myself sitting at my desk all day due to virtual learning, or simply lack of exercise as an excuse to stay safe. Especially as COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person so easily through the air, due to trying to socially distance as best as possible, I noticed that since last December, my exercise rates have drastically decreased, resulting in more fatigue. As far as I am concerned, I have always been an active and athletic person who was playing some form of sport almost every single day all year long. But, as I stayed home more often to follow COVD-19 restrictions, I quickly found that I needed a way to make up for my lack of movement. 

As a result, since around a month and a half ago, my sister and I have started climbing around 50-100 flights of stairs depending on the day of the week. But how did this even start? I was inspired by my apartment complex's gym coach, Coach Park. He recommended taking the stairs to me after hearing that I played golf and told me that it would be beneficial in both my health as well as for improving my golf skills. The United States National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus claims that it is one of the most effective exercises when wanting to improve your cardiovascular system and endurance. I interviewed Mr. Park to gain some better insight on his opinions of my “new hobby”. I started off by simply asking “how did you get into coaching at the gym and when did you start?”

[A picture of the author walking up a flight of stairs. Photo Courtesy of Mr. Park.]

*All the dialogue below is translated to English.

Mr. Park: “I have been working in different gyms for around the past 5 years and for sure it is not an easy job. As working out is usually a hard and demotivating activity in the beginning, I started to inspire others to see the fun in working out regardless of how tiring it is when starting. Whatever you do, starting something new is dreadful, especially when it comes to something related to heavy workouts.”

Interviewee: “What do you personally like about working out? What has inspired you to help others?”

Mr. Park: “At one point in life, I was very unmotivated and fatigued therefore, I was very physically tired. All I wanted to do was lay in bed, hangout with my friends and eat unhealthy amounts of food. I decided that I needed a change in my life, one that would help me in the long run. So, staring off easy, I started going to the gym around 2-3 times a week with my friends to make it more motivating. Now, I’m so happy that I started and I really like helping others to overcome a stage in life that I was once in.”

[The author interviewing Mr. Park. Photo Courtesy of Clare Sohn’s Mom.]

Interviewee: “Now being more specific to climbing stairs, why do you recommend it for me? What benefits can I gain?” 

Mr. Park: “Climbing stairs is definitely not the first workout you would think of as it doesn’t happen in the gym, however it is one of the most effective for your full body. It requires leg strength, core strength, back strength, and really everywhere in your body. Through this, you can improve your cardiovascular endurance as you are required to climb up so many flights of stairs at an incline. I recommended it for you since you golf and golf requires a lot of cardio to maintain your energy throughout the whole game.” 

Interviewee: “Thank you for your responses, and your recommendation!”

To summarize, climbing stairs truly is an abnormal yet highly effective hobby or workout for anybody. Not only can it improve your cardiovascular endurance, but it also can really help you to strengthen your overall well-being. As I have been doing this every day for over a month, I am slowly adjusting, however it still is quite difficult. Simply, climbing stairs are extremely demanding on your muscles all around your body, hence when I started doing this, I was not used to working all the muscles in my body. But now, I can definitely see the benefits as when I golf, I am less tired when walking the 18-hole course!

Clare Sohn
Grade 11
Seoul Foreign School

Clare Sohn  student_reporter@dherald.com

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