I hate driving. It stresses me out. I get anxiety. It makes me feel sick. I always get lost and I often get flat tires (those curbs always get in my way!).
So instead of getting therapy for what I can only assume is some sort of anxiety disorder, I followed the old adage: “If it hurts when you do that, then stop doing that!” So I got rid of my car years ago and live the luxurious life of a pedestrian.
Ahh, walking. Using my two feet to get from point A to point B. Imagine it: not sitting in traffic, no cursing out bad drivers and no listening to terrible radio.
But, more important -- no spending cash on gas, insurance, car payment or parking!
Despite all of those fabulous benefits, there’s one that outshines them all. Walking is good for your health, plain and simple. And that includes your waistline.
According to the Mayo Clinic, someone who weighs 160 pounds will burn nearly 300 calories simply by walking at a brisk pace for one hour. Now that’s a pretty good deal!
As a pretty obsessive calorie counter, off the top of my head I can tell you that 300 calories is equal to:
- 2 pieces of whole wheat toast with 2 eggs
- One bag of potato chips
- 2 servings of ice cream
So here’s my walking regimen: Every morning I walk a few blocks to the bus stop or Metro station and then another 10- to 15-minute walk from the bus or Metro stop to work. In the evening, I usually try to weasel a ride to the Metro (it’s dark out by the time I leave! Stop judging!), and then I walk either to the gym, yoga studio or some sort of event involving tasty cocktails.
And don’t forget the weekends! On any given Saturday or Sunday, you can find me and my sneakers, sashaying through the city -- on my way to brunch, lunch, grocery shopping, picking up the dry cleaning, perusing the farmers' market, etc.
So not only am I saving myself money and stress, I also have the perfect justification to eat my beloved peanut M&Ms. In fact, I just ate some chips and I fully plan to burn it off during my 20-minute walk home from the gym tonight. So it’s like I never actually ate them. Well, kind of...
But in all seriousness, my feet and I have a great relationship -- better than any man I’ve dated. That’s because my feet will always be there, supporting me, carrying me and even making me feel special -- especially when I have pretty pink toe nails.
Lauren Dunn is News4's medical producer.