For muscle toning, general fitness, and the fight against obesity there is no need to visit a fancy gym. Everything needed is already found in most houses - stairs.

Just walking up them is beneficial, but they are also perfect for developing upper body strength by doing ‘press ups’. Standing on the bottom step, lean forward until your hands are resting on the tread level with your chest and slowly push up. After a few days you may wish to attempt two push ups, building up to three or more.

This can be incorporated into your daily activities, until ascending the stairs doing a ‘press up’ on the first ten treads becomes automatic. The results can be remarkable.

Brian McCusker,

Hartoft Street, York