Stair Climbing Training For Mountain Climbing

Stair climbing with weight is one of the best training activities you can do to prepare for a mountain climb.

What you need: a good pair of shoes or boots, a pack and a long flight of stairs. Do an internet search of Stairs Workouts and the name of your city for some ideas of urban stairs people use for training. Here in Seattle, favorite stairs used for training can be found at Howe Street and Blaine Street Stairs, Capitol Hill-Eastlake, Thornton Creek Water Channel Stairs, Highlands Issaquah, Volunteer Park, Wilcox Wall, and Golden Gardens Park. If you work in a building with flights of stairs, use those for your training. You can also use a Stairmaster cardio machine.

Start moderately and progressively increase the length of your stair workouts. Monitor your body during and the days after your stair training for signs that you overdid it and back off if you did.

If you are just beginning your training, walk the stairs without weight for 20 minutes. If you are fit, and have been doing some stair climbing, start with a light pack and gradually increase the duration of your workouts and the weight with your subsequent workouts. Over time, work up to the weight that you will carry in the mountains.

Go up the stairs, going slowly for the first five minutes to warm up your body. Then pick up the pace a bit. Once you have been training stairs for a few weeks you can also try Intervals. One interval protocol is 30 seconds of hard activity followed by 60 seconds of slower activity. Tabata Protocol is another, more difficult interval program that combines 20 seconds of activity with only 10 seconds of rest. Go fast for 20 seconds and then go slowly for 10 seconds.

Once you get to the top, walk down the stairs. Go slowly as you descend. If you are training in a building, take the elevator down stairs. Going down stairs can be hard on your body. So be careful not to overdo it. Extremely repetitive stair climbing can put your knees, at risk for overuse injuries.

Once you are done, walk slowly for five minutes to let your heart rate cool down, stretch and hydrate.


Health Hazards of Prolonged Sitting and What You Can Do

My desk-converter converts my desk into a standing desk easily.

Health Hazards of Prolonged Sitting

Think about how much time you spend each day sitting down.

You may sit during your commute to and from work, most of the day at a desk job in front of the computer, in the evening while watching TV. All this may add up to 16 hours of sitting down every day. And all this sitting has an impact on your health.

Compared with lower volumes of sitting (< 4 hours/day), high volumes of sitting (> 8 hours/day) have been found to be associated with adverse health outcomes. People who sit a lot have an increased risk of both all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality.

Sitting shortens life, increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, cancer, and deep vein thrombosis risk. Weight gain is probable, odds of anxiety and depression increase, it stresses your back, neck and spine, and blood pools in your legs which can lead to varicose veins.

The consequences of too much sitting are hard to undo with exercise. And even if you exercise regularly, this much sitting could still have a major impact on your health. The dangers of being sedentary are worse with lower levels of physical activity than at higher levels.

Sitting for more than 3 hours a day can reduce a person’s life expectancy by 2 years even if they exercise regularly. Watching TV for more than two hours a day can shorten life expectancy even further, by another 1.4 years, says this British Medical Journal study.

Therefore, sitting less, moving more through the day and a moderate to vigorous exercise habit contributes to better health.

Sit Less and Stand More

A good place to start is simply standing instead of sitting when you have the chance or find ways to walk and move while you work.

Set a timer to remind you to stand up from sitting every 30 minutes.

If you work at a desk, try a standing desk or a standing desk converter. This will allow you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. And for maximum benefit, also buy an anti-fatigue mat.

If you don’t have a standing desk move your laptop throughout the day to a high countertop.

Consider getting a treadmill desk. These desks have a computer screen so that you can walk as you work throughout the day.

Stand and walk while talking on the phone.

Set an alarm to remind you to stand up and do some stretching or other exercises that will promote good posture.

Schedule walking meetings with coworkers. Or have a standing meeting.

Pace while you are on the phone.

Moderate to Vigorous Exercise Recommendation

For good health, the American Heart Association and World Health Organization recommends this schedule of exercise:

At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both.

When exercise is performed at moderate intensity, your heart will beat faster and you’ll breathe harder than normal, but you’ll still be able to talk. You would say your exertion level is medium.

When done at vigorous- intensity your heart rate will be even higher and breathing much more rapidly with more effort. You would say your exertion level is hard.

You will gain even more benefits by being active at least 300 minutes moderate-intensity or 150 vigorous-intensity per week.

In addition to cardiovascular exercise, add in muscle-strengthening weight training at least two days per week.

Move more, sit less every day and follow the recommendations for exercise. Being more active is beneficial and will help you live a longer, healthier life.


Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.



Spatchcock Chicken and Vegetables Sheet Pan Dinner

Ready to go in the oven! I used the half sheet size baking pan here and see how crowded the veggies are? A two thirds size allows them to be more spread out so they can roast better.

Haven you ever made a Spatchcock chicken? It is a chicken that is flattened by removing the spine. This results in a quicker cooking chicken that has crisper skin and juicier interior. This is incredible and worth the effort of learning. Once you do, it is simple and I promise you’ll want to make it often. It has become my favorite meal!

This recipe is based on Natasha’s Kitchen’s Spatchcock Chicken Recipe.

Watch her short video for technique:

You will need parchment paper and a foodservice quality rimmed baking sheet. It is best to use a larger size baking sheet called a TWO THIRDS size. I link to both below.

Ingredients for the Chicken

4 1/4 lb whole chicken * Allow the raw chicken to sit at room temp for 30 min before putting in the oven for even baking. Making note of the weight of your chicken is important. If it weighs more than 4 1/4 pound it will take longer to bake. See my instructions below.

1/2 tsp salt (I like to use sea salt or kosher salt)

1/8 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for Flavored Butter:

2-3 Tbsp. unsalted butter softened (It tastes a little better with more butter but I have made it successfully with 2 Tbsp and I personally prefer to use less to reduce the saturated fat a bit)

2 Tbsp olive oil plus more to drizzle

¼ cup parsley finely chopped. I have also used fresh chopped thyme with the parsley. I have successfully made this without any herbs so if you find yourself without any, go ahead and make it. But obviously you get a bit more flavor with the herb addition.

4 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp lemon zest, if you love the flavor of lemon, feel free to use more

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for Vegetables:

2 lbs petite red or yellow potatoes or medium red potatoes scrubbed and quartered

24 oz Brussels sprouts trimmed

3 medium carrots peeled and cut to the same size as the halved Brussels Sprouts

4 Tbs Canola Oil

2 tsp Kosher salt

Optional: I have also added lemon zest to the oil

  1. Cut up vegetables and toss with oil and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flavored butter ingredients. Mash with fork for a couple of minutes until lemon juice is mostly incorporated into butter.
  3. Place chicken breast-side down with the wings/ neck facing towards you. To remove the spine, use kitchen shears to cut through the ribs right next to the spine along both sides. Open rib cage and use a heavy knife to score down the sternum. This will help pop out the breast bone and flatten chicken. Season inside the chicken with 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  4. Flip the chicken over breast side up and set on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking TWO THIRDS Size sheet. Using the palm of your hand, push firmly over the breast bone forcing the chicken to lay completely flat. Use your thumbs to separate the skin from the meat over breast, thigh and drumstick areas.
  5. Using a small spoon, turn the chicken so the pocket opening is up and insert the butter mixture under the chicken skin of breast, thigh and drumstick and spread any remaining butter all over chicken.
  6. If your chicken weighs 4 1/4 pounds, place prepared vegetables all around the chicken in a single layer and bake at 425 uncovered 45 minutes. If it weighs more than that put the chicken in and set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off spread the veggies on the pan and then continue to bake.
  7. Bake uncovered at 425˚F for 45 min or until instant read thermometer reads 160˚F when inserted into thickest part of chicken breast**. Remove from oven and rest uncovered 10 minutes on a cutting board before serving. **Don’t over-bake or the breast will be dry. Keep in mind internal temp will rise another 5-10 degrees after it comes out of oven.

Garnish with parsley and slices of lemon