10 Creative Ways to Burn Calories This Fall
It’s called the PhunkeeDuck, UWheel or Skywalker and it’s more fuel for my rant against America’s sedentary lifestyle. It’s the new motorized handlebar-free scooter with the Segway technology. I was dumbfounded when I saw what seemed a healthy young man riding one through the Las Vegas Airport. Not to my surprise, in a place where people love to spend excessive cash on expensive frills, I saw three more people riding these $850 toys.
I could only shake my head in disbelief because it seemed to be bringing us one step closer to the cartoon world of Wall-e. In the movie about a waste collecting robot, humans are obese from lack of activity and ride around on individual hover scooters as they consume and litter their environment.
As we work harder to become more successful our lives are becoming too easy. People I know rarely walk anywhere further than a block. Now in our cars it’s too much trouble to flex our foot and we need cruise control. Soon cars will drive themselves. At the same time we’re consuming more calories with fatter foods and bigger portions. If you’re not burning all those unused calories the prognosis is not good.
We need to stop the cycle and teach the next generation to be active. After all our luxuries now give us a lot of spare time. Instead of spending it in front of screen or snacking and drinking we should be using our bodies. As the old saying goes, “use it or lose it”. Or else you might find yourself an elderly person shuffling along with a cane.
The US Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends children exercise at least 60 minutes most days and adults for at least 30 minutes.
The health benefits include preventing heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, cancer, arthritis and falls. You also will burn calories.
As the weather turns cooler here are some creative ideas to get out and be active with your family and burn calories.
10 Ways to Burn Calories:
Somebody has to do it. Make it a family activity and I’m sure the kids will have fun jumping in the pile before you get them to help you scoop the leaves into trash bags. Depending on the size of your yard you might burn 500 calories!
Grab some trash bags and clean up a park or neighborhood. Kick it up a notch by making it a competition to see who picks up the most. Not only are you moving but doing a great public service.
No Drive Zone:
Make it a rule and good example for your children not to use the car to go anywhere closer than six blocks or half a mile at least! Once walking or biking on the road you’ll start to appreciate being outdoors and might meet some new neighbors. You also will burn calories!
I’ve written about the fun and fast pace exercise with Ultimate Frisbee. You can slow it down with Frisbee Golf. Check the Internet to see if there is a free course in your area. Like the game of golf you’ll be enjoying the great outdoors as you stroll from tee to tee looking to score a basket-in-one Frisbee toss. Great to burn calories!
Fly a Kite:
It may be getting cooler but still nice enough to enjoy this peaceful activity on a breezy day. Running and pulling the string to give the kite a lift is the part of the fun and good for your heart.
Don’t forget to get the yard ready for the winter. Give yourself something to look forward to in the spring by planting tulip bulbs. When they bloom in March you’ll feel like Spring is in the air. All the digging is good muscle work too.
Don’t be a spectator:
While waiting for your kids to finish sports practice you can take a walk, jog or throw a ball around. Don’t use this time to look at your smart phone. Set an example and be active. Moving around helps you burn calories.
Get an app:
If you must use your smart phone get one of the many applications that give you exercise ideas or challenges. Take turns leading exercise with your kids.
Remember that game? Add a twist by making the moves stretches. Stretching is a nice compliment to exercise and your body needs it to keep muscles flexible and strong.
Organize a neighborhood game:
Back before cable t-v and computers kids regularly played ball in the streets and parks. Use email to organize a neighborhood kickball or tag football game. Surely there are other kids and adults needing to be lured off their computers too.
Always check with your healthcare professional before beginning any exercise regimen.
- Activity Guidelines: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf
- Why exercise is beneficial: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389