Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mini stair stepper

Holy humidity! I was so excited about the nice, fall-like days we had here, but I guess I jumped the gun in thinking about fall. The past few days have been in the high-80's and SO HUMID.

When the men from Lowe's delivered our washing machine yesterday, of course there was a ton of dust underneath the old one. But, among the dust bunnies was this one lonesome sock...


Our washer was in that same spot ever since we moved in 12 years ago, so the sock must have been Noah's or Eli's and it got lost underneath. It was so cute to find that! I miss their chubby little baby hands and feet. At first, I tossed the sock in the trash, but then I couldn't help but pull it back out. It made me feel so nostalgic!

I don't have much to write about today, but I wanted to share a new find. My physical therapist told me I should do the stair stepper for cardio, like I mentioned last week, and the only stair stepper I had access to was at the rec center. I enjoy going to the rec center, but it's not very convenient, which makes it less likely that I'll go regularly. So, when I saw this little portable stair stepper at Wal-Mart for $50, I figured it was worth a shot.

Gold's Gym Mini Stepper (Amazon affiliate link). It's $38.50 on Amazon, plus $11.50 shipping:




I brought it home, and there was pretty much zero set-up involved. You don't have to make adjustments, or anything like that, so it's really very basic and simple. I did my first workout on it today, and I was very impressed with what a good workout I got!

I've been wanting to read more and watch less TV, so I decided to try reading a book on my iPad while stepping, and it worked out really well.


I stepped for 30 minutes, and I was pouring sweat when I was done. My average heart rate was 149 (80% of my maximum), which is great for cardio. I could really feel the burn in my thighs, so I know I was using some muscles I'm not used to using. There is a little timer/step counter on the front:

Yes, that would be sweat that dripped on it, haha
I think the step counter was off, because it only counted the steps where I did a full range of motion; and my physical therapist told me to try not to make the step hit the top or bottom while stepping, so I did slightly less than a full range of motion. According to my Fitbit, I'd done about double what was shown (so maybe it just counts one step for right and left leg? I'll have to pay more attention to it next time).

I was surprised how fast the time passed while I read my book, and before I knew it, I'd burned nearly 300 calories (296, to be exact). The heart rate and calorie burn is roughly the same as what it would be for an easy three mile run.


I wasn't wearing the Garmin foot pod to calculate distance (actually, I don't even know if it would work for a stair stepper or stepping in place... I've never tried that). I have no idea how accurate the distance is that's shown on the Garmin, but it seems right, based on the pace.

The only downside I could see to the stepper is that if you have trouble keeping balance, you would probably need a chair or something next to you to hold on to. Once I got a good rhythm going, I didn't have any problems; but I think having something to hold on to would be helpful.

So anyway, I just wanted to share this little find for anyone who may not have room or money for a treadmill. It's nice because it's small enough to tuck under the bed or into a corner, and I think it's totally worth $50. The weight capacity on it is 250 pounds, which I felt is worth mentioning. I'll update as I see how it holds up!

17 comments:

  1. You prob got a better workout bc you weren't leaning on anything! I went for a run and ended up crying. Too hot!!

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    1. Ugh, I was hoping to go for a bike ride today, but I just couldn't do it. The "real feel" was 98!

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  2. For someone who doesn't have great balance, that looks tricky! Especially while reading a book. Also, you look great!

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  3. We got teased with fall here in the StL area as well. Back to hot and humid. I cannot wait for fall. Cold crisp mornings and evenings. . . hoodie weather. :)

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  4. Before I saw you mention it all I could think was how I would never be able to stay up on it....I would fall right off LOLOL

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  5. Hmm, I'm very intrigued by this. I love the stair stepper at my gym, but sometimes its hard for me to get there. This would be nice for a quick workout in the morning before work maybe! Might have to go on my Christmas list :) Thanks for sharing your find with us!

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  6. Have you tried audio books? It would be easier to listen than read. I download them from my library onto my iphone and listen while I walk. The digital offerings from my local library have improved greatly in the last few years, and I can always find something worth listening to.

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  7. I want a stepper to keep under my desk to use while I'm seated at work. Do you think this would work for that, or do you have to be standing?

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    1. You probably could, but I doubt you would be able to get your heart rate up as high. Your steps would be slower, because you wouldn't have your body weight to help you push down; but theoretically, it could work!

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  8. Oh, the baby sock. How sweet. Where did time go???

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  9. I have an older version of this stepper that I bought about 20 years ago at Sears, but it was a Joe Weider stepper instead of Gold's Gym. Pretty much the same otherwise. I used to keep it at my office and "step" for 10 minutes here and there when I needed a break but use it at home now in front of the TV. I may have to get one of these new models and take it to work!

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  10. Awww, finding that sock must have been so nostalgic! I think I would definitely need something to hold on to on that stepper--I can barely stand up straight just walking on a flat path :D

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  11. Do you think this stair stepper would be a good place to start. I live in Iowa where even though it was 94 degrees today, it will be as cold as it is for you soon, and the thought of being able to read makes me more inclined to work out if I can still read.

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    1. I think it could be as easy or as hard as you make it. I wanted a tough workout, so I was trying to go fast; but if you're just starting out, you could go slower, and have a chair next to you for balance. Even at a fast pace, I had no trouble reading my book! :)

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  12. This sounds so cool! Would you compare it to an aerobic step? That's what I have and if it's like that then I'll just stick with my step lol
    thanks for your help!
    :)

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    1. I actually think it's a little harder than an aerobic step. There is resistance when you step down on it, which feels harder to me than just doing an aerobic step. But if you enjoy your step, keep at that! ;)

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  13. Also I forgot to add... I read a lot (usually at night in my bed, which I spend a couple hours doing) so I think this would be great to get some exercise in while I read! haha

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)