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AS WITH the best-laid plans of mice and men, the most determined efforts to keep up an exercise routine while travelling can quickly unravel. Being an exercise addict, my anxiety levels tend to spiral quickly into the stratosphere when I’m away from home for lengthy periods. I worry about whether I’ll find time and space for daily exercise fixes. My first holiday in Croatia in July was no exception. I was up the stone stairs on the walls of Dubrovnik’s beautiful Old City. I went up them in a flash and came down slowly, giving myself time to take in the exquisite views. Stair climbing is a perfectly normal, everyday activity many of us do daily without giving it a second thought. It deserves much more thought. It also deserves its reputation as a cheap, accessible, unique form of exercise, one of the best there is. Doctors, physical therapists, and personal trainers regularly recommend stair climbing, not least because it can be a form of high-intensity, interval training. That’s if ...

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