“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. “
- Henry David Thoreau
New Year’s resolutions. They’re a lot to live up to. From vowing to lose weight to resolving to keep your cool when your mother-in-law critiques your cooking, our list of promises s can be daunting. But what if you could adopt one activity into your life that’d cover all your resolutions? That’s right. One activity. We’re asking you to get outdoors in 2011. Venture onto a new hiking path. Walk another ten minutes beyond your regular route with Fido. Mother Nature could be your answer to sticking to your resolutions this year.
This year, I resolve to:
Drop the extra pudge I put on from Christmas. Obviously a walk in the park is good for you. A 160-pound person walking at a quick pace of 3.5 mph can easily burn 277 calories an hour. But if you want to step it up a notch, hit the trails; hiking will burn 438 calories per hour.
Love myself a little more. One U.K. study found that when people got out into the fresh air and enjoyed green spaces during exercise, 60 per cent of them felt more confident during the first five minutes of their workout. And that confidence lasted the entire duration of their sweat-a-thon.
Get Iron Man strong! Don’t wait till spring to get moving. Stomping through the slush will up your workout by creating resistance. Move over, Mr. Schwarzennegger!
Keep my cool when the deadlines loom. Stressed out at work? Get outside on your lunch break. A University of Essex study found that doing physical activity outside can actually drive down tension, anger and even anxiety.
Heart my heart. Between the vitamin D you get from the sun’s rays to the huffing and puffing from walking outside, you’ll lower bad cholesterol, amp up good cholesterol, keep your blood pressure in check, and even reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Moreover, a study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found that women who walked for two or more hours a week or women who had a quick pace had lower risk of stroke than women who were sedentary and walked at a slower pace.
Give the Energizer Bunny a run for its money. Getting outside during the day can help to reset your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock that tells it to wake and sleep according to the rising and setting of the sun), helping to keep your energy up.