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Wednesday is National Take the Stairs Day

Lung health has become a focal point for people, given the respiratory nature of COVID-19.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In particular, lung health has become a focal point for people, given the respiratory nature of COVID-19. 

The American Lung Association is reminding everyone of National Take the Stairs Day, Wednesday, Jan. 13. 

With 37 million Americans living with chronic lung disease, such as asthma or COPD, National Take the Stairs Day serves as a starting point to get lung health in check.

“The better we take care of our bodies, whether that’s what we put in them or how we exercise them, again, especially our lungs right now, we really need to focus on keeping our lungs as strong and healthy as possible,” said Brittany Sinzinger, American Lung Association senior development manager.

10TV talked with one woman who, despite being in great shape, felt the impact of COVID-19 on her lungs.

“I could feel just doing minor things that I would normally do, I felt out of breath. Even throughout the day I felt good but trying to like, you know, go a little bit harder and do a burpee, I was like, ‘I better slow down’ because I could feel it just a little bit in my chest,” said Elicia Scanlon, a local personal trainer.  

Scanlon told 10TV that she tested positive for COVID-19 in December, facing mostly a mild headache and the loss of her sense of smell and sense of taste.

“When I actually went back to the gym full time and I tried to breathe really heavy and just push myself to where I probably shouldn’t have, I could feel burning,” Scanlon said.

To help her lungs recover, Scanlon told 10TV that she drank a gallon of water each day, continued to eat her usual five meals each day, even though she couldn’t taste or smell the food, and stayed active, forcing herself to get up and move.

“If you don’t get out and use (your lungs) and exercise them, then you may not be able to fight back as hard on the virus because your lungs may not be as strong,” she said.

Scanlon suggests using National Take the Stairs Day as an opportunity to assess lung health and work on improving it from there.

Stair climbing is known to burn two to three times more calories than other exercises, and requires eight to 11 calories of energy per minute, Sinzinger explained, making it a good activity to measure lung health.

National Take the Stairs Day will also kick off preparations for this year’s Columbus Fight for Air Climb.

The Fight for Air Climb is typically held at the Rhodes Tower downtown in February but because of the pandemic, will be moved to an outdoor stadium in late spring, early summer.

Stay tuned for more information on the 2021 Columbus Fight for Air Climb.