Friday Fitness Tip on the Fly - a walk in the park

A walk in the park and a piece of cake are both easy things.  But as opposed to being a cheater food like cake, a walk in the park in the literal sense can also be an enjoyable and healthy habit.  Parks aren't hard to find whether you're in the downtown area, suburbs, or rural areas as cities have become more amenable towards the recreational well-being of their residents.  So how can a walk in the park improve your overall wellness?

Well first, we weren't built by our Creator to be sedentary beings.  Yes, there actually was a time when we had to physically work for our food with the sickle.  And we actually had to walk to go to places in the absence of motor-driven vehicles and planes.  In today's world of sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end, it's no surprise that researchers have shown the benefits of going on walks.

A walk in the park not only gives your eyes a rest from the computer screen, but also gives your lungs a breath of fresh air.  Your legs were designed for movement, and they'll be the primary driver for your wellness.  And remember, your employer is required to give you a lunch break and at least two 15-minute breaks during an 8 hour work day, so why not take advantage of it with a walk in the park?

The walking paths abound in Central Park
A 20-minute walk usually amounts to about one mile for the average walker, which equates to just around 100 calories burned depending on your size.  While this may not seem significant, it can certainly add up over the course of a year if done everyday.  If you walked for an extra mile every working day, you'd burn an extra 26,000 calories over the course of the year vs. someone who didn't.  That's almost as much energy contained in 7 1/2 pounds of fat!  Now of course this won't mean that you'll actually lose 7 1/2 pounds of more fat as weight loss is largely dependent on your diet, sleep, other exercise, etc.

Bottom line

A walk in the park is just that.  It can pretty much done any time of the day depending on your employer's flexibility, but most bosses probably won't turn down your request to get some fresh air while clearing your mind.  You'll get the added benefit of more calories burned, and your legs, lungs, and eyes will all thank you for it.  Big changes can come with small actions.


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