Have you downsized from a house to a bungalow and seen a decrease in leg strength? There is actually a (semi!) official term for this “Bungalow Legs” .  It’s often the small things that add up and once we take away the stairs in a house, which you might go up and down several times a day, it’s going to impact your leg strength.

Bungalow Houses or Stairless Homes May Hasten Decline Associated with Aging

Stairs are everywhere, shops, kerbs, friends and family houses so if you don’t have stairs at home it’s even more important that you use them when out.  Even if you do have stairs in the house you might have started to avoid doing them unless absolutely necessary due to finding them hard work or worried about balance.

How to use leg strength to get up the stairs

One of the reasons you might find stairs hard work is because you have started to use your arms to pull yourself up rather than your legs to push yourself up.

Try these tips to ensure you are using your legs

  • Try to just lightly rest your hand on the bannister for support if needed
  • Put as much of your foot on the stair as possible
  • Push down through the whole foot not just the toes (ideally through the heel but some stairs aren’t deep enough for this)

Many people find it harder going down the stair so you might want to hold a little tighter to the handrail. You may even wish to place both feet on each step or to come down sideways.

If you get the chance always try and use stairs, even just a set of five steps will help maintain leg strength.  Rather than wait until you need to go upstairs, take 5 minutes and just try and practice going up and down stairs with no distrations and focusing on techique. If you do live in a bungelow then do you have a step maybe out the back door that you can practice on? Just stepping up and down is going to challenge the legs and you can do this if a whole flight of stairs seems too much. The most important thing to do is practice,  practice,  practice!

I have spaces in both my Newell Centre and St Michael’s Hall Class at the moment so if you are thinking about trying it out (or returning after a hiatus) it would be lovely to see you. 

The post Leg Strength and Stairs appeared first on Whole Life Fitness.



Having worked in IT in London for 15 years I was made redundant in 2009. I had trained as a gym instructor whilst working and decided I would rather spend the rest of my career doing something I loved than look for another job in IT. I furthered my qualifications with a Certificate in Advanced Personal Training from the highly regarded Premier Training. Many personal trainers are generalists covering all areas of fitness but I took the decision to specialise in the over-50s and therefore went on to do a CYQ Award in Functional Training for the Independent Older Adult Level 3. My focus is on overall health rather than fitness. I believe that making small changes can have a long term positive effect on health and well-being.

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