Let’s face it,most panda’s are fat. Just because they eat that sweet bamboo salad, doesn’t mean they don’t build the pounds.

Panda jokes aside, losing weight is really difficult. And it’s not just because it requires consistent motivation and commitment; in reality most who want to lose weight are already filled with this strong self desire to look and feel better. Rather, it’s because it takes time. A lot of time. Getting into your car and driving to the gym takes away valuable commitment to the rest of your day, minutes that can be spent working on important assignments or catching up on chores.

A couple years ago, I was extremely crunched on time. A senior in High School, I was applying to colleges, going for interviews, and dealing with the stress of studying for my AP and SAT exams. Those were gross times, almost as gross as I was. I’m a short man of 5’4, yet I weighed roughly 197 pounds. My face and body resembled that of a chubby bunny; other students made snarky remarks about my weight, and the girls wouldn’t dare look my way.

I hated how I felt, both physically and mentally, and needed to change my image. After I graduated and moved into the next phase of my life (college), I created a weight loss plan that could compensate to my busy schedule. Something I knew would be easy to start and follow through with, convenient in location and time, and in which the intensity can also be easily adjusted. Fortunate for me, my freshman dorm (and I can imagine on many campus dorms throughout America) had a large stairwell next to me.

I’ve heard repeatedly over and over that in order to stay healthy, you need to make the time to do so, no matter your schedule. And yes, there is some truth to this; but it doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice needed time to complete your workout goals. Instead, it means that you need to find a way to make it work for you, while giving you enough time in the day to focus on other important matters while also working out. This is exactly what the stairway workout does. 

Whether writing a report for one of my writing classes, or completing a math homework, during the assignment (or if I had gotten writers block ) I would take a break and walk outside my dorm to complete a few laps up the stairwell to blow off intellectual steam. At first I started off small; the stairwell had nine staircases with roughly eight steps in between. I would jog up the down the entirety of the stairwell five times(45 staircases climbed). Because it was so convenient, and didn’t require me to take the time to go to the gym, I was able to do it every day of the week for the semester. 

I was out of breath after each workout, but eventually my body had gotten used to it. Simply put, I increased the intensity by running two additional times back and forth at a faster pace. Eventually by the end of the year, after steadily increasing the intensity week after week, I had the stamina to run back and forth twenty times.

What’s amazing about this is that all you really  need to complete this exercise is a stairwell. Whether you too are a college student staying in a dorm, or are living the confines of an apartment or home, chances are that you have a stairway next to you. You just need to take a break from whatever you are doing, run back and forth until you feel tired (newbies should run for 10-20 minutes, until they build a decent sweat), and get back to whatever work you are occupied with. It’s that simple.

Well, sadly it isn’t. Though running up the stairway everyday is a surefire way to get your cardio on and to burn those calories, it isn’t the only thing you will need to do to lose weight. There’s still the matter of diet, body type, metabolism, and age; all of which need to be taken into consideration when losing weight. Fortunately, I had taken into consideration these factors in addition to my workout regiment when I lost the weight, and will make blog posts talking about each one in detail. But until then, stay healthy and continue to work out. And remember: if a panda can do it, you can to 🙂