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Archive for April 11th, 2008

Some think it’s a pretty freakin’ boring activity that takes too much time for the amount of calories it ultimately burns. However, walking does have some pretty huge benefits. Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah – you’ve heard it a thousand times before, you know walking is good for you, you know you should exercise…..but maybe it’s not so bad to be reminded every so often…..

Walk·ing

Pronunciation: \ˈw-kiŋ\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century
1 : the action of one that walks <walking is good exercise>
2 : the condition of a surface for one going on foot <the walking is slippery>

Walking burns calories, strengthens back muscles, slims your waist, is easy on your joints, strengthens your bones, lowers blood pressure, allows time with family and friends, shapes and tones your legs and butt, cuts cholesterol, reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes, & other conditions, reduces stress, helps you sleep better, improves mood and outlook on life, can be done almost anywhere, requires no equipment, AND it’s free.

In addition to going to the gym, I have been trying to get in a decent walk every day. The route I’ve been plugging away on daily loops through the golf course, past two lakes and is a little over 10 km (roughly 6 1/2 miles). It takes me about an hour and a half-ish to complete, gives me some 1:1 time with myself and my iPod, and leaves me feeling sweaty, renewed, and refreshed (how can thirty two degrees Celsius not! Brrr…..).

Honestly, besides the crappy weather some days (I was caught in a graupel storm yesterday – seriously – it’s real – look that one up kids), I have every reason to get my bootie in motion and bust it outside – into the gorgeous crisp air. With the wedding less than three months away I do have an overwhelming desire to look fit and feel healthy for the big day.

I have also been blessed with a pair of perfectly good legs (which I’m forever thankful for) and have sixty eight pairs of running shoes (or ‘trainers’ as they lovingly refer to them in Europe) waiting patiently for their turn to break out of our fourth-bedroom-turned-walk-in-closet.

And yeah, that’s a grip of sneakers. I know.

Cut me some slack here….It’s no secret I cherish shoes and I do come from the ‘land of Nike’ where it’s bordering on an obsessive compulsive disorder cool and hip to own so many pairs of kicks, one to match every possible combination of exercise gear you might slip into.

But most importantly, with copious amounts of time now available to dedicate to a healthy activity like working out – something that was more of a luxury and took a backseat in my past life, I really have no excuses.

I was curious. Just how many calories am I burning on these little ninety minute hikes in the sticks?

And wouldn’t you know it, there are some simple formulas you can use to determine how many calories are being burned according to your weight and how fast you are walking.

3.0 miles/hour (20-minute mile): Burns .027 calories/pound/minute.

3.5 miles/hour (17 minute mile): Burns .033 calories/pound/minute.

4.0 miles/hour (15 minute mile): Burns .042 calories/pound/minute.

4.5 miles/hour (13 minute mile): Burns .047 calories/pound/minute.

Take the number of calories/pound/minute you burn and multiply it by your weight and then by the number of minutes you walk.

For instance, if you weigh 125 pounds and walk a 17-minute mile for 60 minutes, you multiply 125 by .033, then multiple the result (4.125) by 60. You burn a measly 247.5 calories.

So, that’s not a helluva lot, huh? Especially considering one pound of body fat is equal to 3500 calories. Ugh. And one 5 ounce glass of wine contains roughly 125 calories. And seeing I had more than one glass of wine last night, uh, and the night before too….I better step it up.

Here is a fun tool from Body Builder that will calculate how many calories you are burning per specific activity (they even list things such as house cleaning, playing music, standing in line, watching TV, & riding in a car – although I have to imagine the latter three don’t burn much if any at all), you can even discover how many minutes you need to exercise to burn your desired number of calories.

Either way, it’s time for me to lace up the next lucky pair of sneaks, head out, and burn up those nasty calories.

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