The Fitness Myth
When you hear the words “fitness” your mind likely goes to images of someone lifting weights at the gym, or sprinting down the street.
You'll be happy to know that feeling fit isn’t always synonymous activities that make sweat.
Being fit always requires us to focus on what our body needs for better strength, posture, fat loss, etc.
One of the ways to feel fit and happier, is to get outside (ideally surrounded by some greenery) and move.
- Burn more calories. Sitting on our bums for 15 minutes burns 20 calories, but a moderate paced walk burns 56 calories. That's over 100 calories in 30 minutes (or 2 oatmeal cookies, one ounce of cheese, and 10 tortilla chips).
- Improves our mood (and sanity). When I'm feeling easily irritated by my kids, stepping out for a walk in fresh air helps me reset. Research shows just 15 minutes outdoors is enough to change our moods.
- Helps subdue cravings. It's been shown that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and sugary snacks.
- Improves creativity.
- Boosts immune function. A study found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. If they did get sick, the duration was shorter and symptoms were milder.
So if you do one thing tomorrow it’s this – a simple 30 minute brisk walk.
Want more? Go for 45 minutes!
- Longer, moderately-paced daily walks (40 minutes at 60% to 65% maximum heart rate) are best for losing weight.
- Shorter, faster walks (20-25 minutes at 75% to 85% maximum heart rate) are best for conditioning your heart and lungs.
And if you’ve got little ones you have a good excuse to get outside for a brisk walk. Push them in the stroller to the park (pick one that’s further away), chase after your kids on the scooter or bike, or play hide and seek at the park.
There’s always a reason to move more and be outdoors when we have little ones.
And if you don’t, grab a friend to join you for a ritual walk every week.
Don’t underestimate the power of moving your legs (and swinging those arms).