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New York Musings: Going Against the Grid

My previous blog was about my journey through the jungles of Costa Rica.  Now I’d like to write about a different jungle: the streets of New York.

Awaiting the return of the subways during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy?  Well here’s something to keep in mind when they’re back:

Run the subway stairs.

It’s part of many a New Yorker’s routine: not just commuting by subway, but enduring the poorly marked, multi-leveled, blisteringly hot subway stations.  Well, I say think outside the grid and embrace your surroundings.  Embrace the filth, the sweat forming on your brow, even the rats (many of whom have drowned in the floods), and especiallythe stairs.

There are the escalators, where you either have to nudge by people on the left who block your path, or stand on the right and wait.

Drop this routine in favor of the stairs.  Here’s why:

1) Exercise: Missed a day at the gym?  Build it into your commute.  Running up steps is some of the best exercise regimens you can do.  Running on flat surfaces does not build leg muscle – running up stairs strengthens your heart and your legs.

2) Saves time: Especially for those stations with multiple levels, running up subway stairs saves good chunks of time.

3) Have some space: Stairwells are virtually empty, especially on the way up.  Take advantage of this phenomenon, tap into your youthful instincts, and run.

4) Saves stress & annoyance: Instead of being hassled by your commute, make the most of it.  Use your time efficiently while getting exercise on a daily basis.

There are several methods to ascending a staircase.  Jump as far as you can, take a light jog, lift your knees into the air (the best workout), or just run.  Any way you do it, you will feel free.

Be a winner.  Run the stairs.

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