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Tip: Get into shape by taking the stairs

If one of your New Year's resolutions was to get in shape by joining a health club, here's a fitness and money-saving tip: Find a health club on the fifth floor and go there every day. You don't have to join the club - as long as you take the stairs.

Climbing about five flights of stairs a day has been found to have health and fitness benefits equal to an aerobic gym workout. For example, a British study found that seven minutes of stair climbing a day reduces the risk of a heart attack by 50 percent. And a Swiss study that charted workers in an office building found that those who took the stairs lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol and took nearly an inch off their waist size after 30 days.

One caveat: Because stair climbing puts stress on knees and ankles, if you feel pain, press the elevator button instead.

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