Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Those Sneaky Calorie-burners!

Sometimes people tell me that they "can't" run 10 miles a day to get into shape. I put "can't" in quotes because of course they can, they are just choosing not to for whatever reason. There are perfectly legitimate reasons why exercise is inconvenient at times, I get that. I'm just saying that you likely can do it, you're just deciding to do something else instead. That's cool.

But I digress. Back to what I was saying.

During the week, I run 5 miles three mornings or so and do the elliptical and weights on non-running days. Then on Saturday I do my long run of between 8 and 10 miles. So naturally I consider Saturday to be my "big burn" because, duh, running 10 miles in one day is going to burn way more than just 5, right? 

But check this out: the other day I ran my 5 miles, and then I walked almost everywhere I went. I took the baby for a 30-minute walk in the backpack that morning, and then I walked another hour in the afternoon when I could have driven instead. When I added all that exercise into MyFitnessPal, it came to about 900 calories of exercise. Dang. That's a lot!

Then the next day I went out and ran 9 miles. I entered that into MyFitnessPal and it came to 868 calories.

What? I burned more calories with a 5 mile run and then just walking around than I did on the day I ran 9 miles?? I was pretty shocked!

And inspired. Research has shown that you don't necessarily have to get all of your cardiovascular exercise at one time. Even small bursts of exercise are beneficial and provide health benefits. Excuses begone!

Imagine this: if you got up and did a workout in the morning like you were going to do anyway, and then you looked for opportunities all day long to be active in other ways, you could very well rack up enough calories to be the equivalent of 10 miles run. Okay, maybe 8. Still, that's a lot! 

Here are some ideas for where those opportunities may be hiding:

1. Designate one meeting at work that would typically be held sitting around a conference table and take it outside as a walking meeting. There's likely 30 minutes right there.

2. If you're meeting a friend for lunch, choose a restaurant that you can walk to. Round trip could be 20 minutes!

3. Get up and walk 3 minutes for every 60 that you spend sitting at your desk. Over the course of an 8-hour work day, that adds up to 24 minutes of exercise!

So, hmmmm....maybe you can "run" 10 miles a day after all. Just sayin'. :)

Get out there and get healthy today, even if you think you can't run 10 miles.


Ro said...

I recently purchased a Striiv pedometer. I absolutely love it and love challenging myself to take as many steps and stairs as possible.

Healthy Heather said...

That's great! I love getting to see my steps add up...it makes me feel like I'm really accomplishing something and motivates me to do more. Keep it up! :)