Monday, November 16, 2009

The Benefits of Walking

By Margo Lemon

I was pretty bummed about the idea of having to give up my car when I moved to a city. Then again, there was a hidden benefit that I never realized existed. People here are slimmer.

The logic of it didn't really add up, because there are plenty of restaurants serving greasy food, and plenty of patrons inside these places. People can't play sports as often here either. Why was this happening then?

Why, then do people weigh less here? I believe that the answer has something to do with the fact that the average Manhattan resident does a lot more walking than the average American citizen on a regular basis.

We don't think of it as much, but it all adds up over the course of a full day. People will happily walk 15 blocks to work, or 3 blocks away to the nearest convenience store. In a regular situation, one would likely drive this distance.

This would be an afterthought in most places, since cars can easily get us from place to place. However, it's led me to realize that walking regularly can very effectively be a means of keeping one's weight down.

They say that every mile walked will burn somewhere between 50 and 60 calories. That's the equivalent of 7 grams of fat, which really adds up over time. Walk this distance both ways, and you'll definitely begin to see some benefits over time.

That's over nearly the equivalent of running a mile at a pretty aggressive pace. You'd have to think that someone who ran a mile per day would be in pretty good physical condition, wouldn't you?

If you think it might be boring, set the time aside to call a friend or someone else who you enjoy talking to. Find a friend to walk with if you prefer not to do it alone.

Try walking in place of driving once daily and watch the results as they add up over time. This isn't an overnight miracle cure, but a steady habit such as this one will definitely prove its worth.

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