Working Out Like Tom Brokaw

By: Bryan Thompson

Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, often climbs hotel stairs as a workout. "I find the back stairs in the hotel and run up and down them for 12 to 15 minutes," Brokaw told Men's Health magazine. "Then, back in my room, I do 35 to 40 push-ups and three sets of sit-ups."

Tom has discovered the benefits of body weight exercises, which can be done anywhere. And when you 'Take the Stairs' you are engaging in the most efficient use of your exercise time.

Your heart needs the exercise; here's your chance

Health experts urge taking steps as a painless way to add activity to daily life.
One of the world's best exercise devices is free, easy to use, and readily available--in fact, you probably have dozens in your home and workplace.

I'm talking about stairs; and lifting your body against gravity to climb them is one of the best exercises you can do for your heart, muscles, and bones. In a "no time for exercise" age, the steps all around us provide an ever-present way to fit physical activity into daily life.

And still, most people avoid them. Given the chance to ride an escalator or climbing an adjacent flight of stairs, 95 percent of the people observed by researchers from Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore chose the path of least physical effort.

Exercise doesn't only have to happen at the gym

Most people don't realize how little physical activity they actually get and how important it is to use every opportunity they have to be active.
Lifestyle activity--such as choosing stairs over elevators--is increasingly being urged by public-health experts, who point to mounting evidence that small amounts of exercise accumulated throughout the day can provide significant health benefits.

For example, the Harvard Alumni Health Study examined the lifestyle habits of more than 11,000 men and found that those who climbed at least 20 floors per week had about a 20 percent lower risk of stroke and of death from all causes during the study period, according to I-Min Lee, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Yale University obesity expert Kelly Brownell, discovered that he could triple the slim percentage of stair climbers by posting a signs like:
Why WEIGHT for an elevator?
Take steps to save time and burn calories.
Burn some stress; take the stairs.
Bone up to good health; climb the stairs

I am always amazed that people will stand and wait for an elevator to go to the fitness center and use the stair climber. The signs help people recognize that exercise doesn't only have to happen at the gym.

Start a workout with Tom Brokaw

Start today to 'Take the Stairs'. One of the great benefits of stair exercise is that the effects are cumulative. So you don't have to do it all at once. Five minutes every hour is a great way to incorporate stair exercise in your daily routine

Here are some simple tricks to get you on your own program.
1) Eliminate the elevator or escalator for going upstairs. Remember, going down stairs does not count.

2) Every hour, on the hour at work, walk up 3 to 5 flights of stairs. This should take no more than five minutes. Every time you do this, your heart rate will get into the aerobic conditioning zone. This benefit will last long past the exercise time. (Can you say, 'Increased Metabolism')

Using this technique, I was able to walk the equivalent of the Empire State building in just over a week.

3) Show up to work five minutes early and walk the stairs twice.

4) Do the same thing at the end of the day.

If you follow this simple five minute every hour program, you'll accumulate 20 to 30 minutes of exercise without even going to the gym.

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Bryan Thompson is a an all-day desk sitting kinda guy who takes five minutes of every hour to walk several flights of stairs.
For some more great information about the benefits of taking the stairs, visit

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