Blurred motion of two people running up stairs

Detroit Fight For Air Climb Benefits American Lung Association

Climbing the second-tallest building in Michigan takes 1,771 stairs up 42 floors and down 40 floors.

That’s the challenge put to the participants of the 2020 Fight for Air Climb, which takes place March 1 in the Ally Detroit Center building in downtown Detroit.

The annual event is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association. It can also serve as an opportunity to reach health and fitness goals while giving back to a charity.

“I definitely feel like I crossed something off my bucket list when I finished!” said Mark Tremel, co-captain of Climbatize, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employee team that participates in the event.

Training for the Fight For Air Climb is important to build endurance. Experts suggest beginning with climbing stairs three times a week for 10 minutes and slowly build up to 30-minute sessions as your endurance grows. Pay attention to pain in your leg joints or back. Be sure to warm up and stretch afterwards.

During the cold, winter months, using indoor stairs in your school or office building presents an easy opportunity to stay fit and grow your fitness journey. It takes no equipment and no gym membership.

Stair climbing is a good cardiovascular exercise that can develop your strength and power while burning calories. It’s a way to gain strength in your legs and glutes without the high impact from jogging or running.

In addition to helping you meet physical activity goals in the New Year, the Fight For Air Climb’s connection to the American Lung Association provides an opportunity to give back. The event is a fundraiser for the association. Many climbers participate in honor of friends and loved ones who have lung cancer or other lung diseases.

“Here in Michigan, more than 1.4 million people live with lung disease, and this year alone, more than 8,000 residents will be diagnosed with lung cancer,” said Maureen Rovas, executive director for the American Lung Association in Michigan. “By joining the Fight For Air Climb, you are helping people in Michigan breathe easier. The event helps us raise awareness for lung disease and lung cancer, raise money for life-saving research, and fund critical educational programs to help local children manage their asthma and help locals quit smoking.”

The American Lung Association uses education, advocacy and research to improve lung health and prevent lung diseases. The organization also works to improve air quality and eliminate tobacco use.

Fight For Air Climb events are being held in major cities across the U.S. In 2018, 26,000 people participated in 44 events across the country.

In Detroit, the March 1 Air Climb will take place at the Ally Detroit Center at 500 Woodward Ave. The goal is to raise $262,000 for the American Lung Association.

There is also a Vertical Mile Challenge, and a special climb for firefighters and other first responders at the One Woodward building in Detroit March 1.

Registration for the Fight For Air Climb can be completed at www.climbdetroit.com. Participants can register as individuals or as a part of a team. Registration for the Vertical Mile is full, though there are still spots available for the Air Climb. Individuals can donate to a participating team member if they are interested in contributing but are unable to participate themselves.

Many employers have teams registered in the event, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Last year the Blue Cross Climbatize team raised $17,500 and was the top fund-raising team in the event. This year the team’s goal is to raise $25,000.

Practice stair climbing events are available to registered participants before the March 1 climb.

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Photo credit: freemixer

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