Archive for June, 2013

Does this city make my butt get fat?

June 5th, 2013 No Comments Tags: , ,

There are numerous causes of obesity that many of us know about in spades – eating too many calories than you use, not getting enough exercise, family genes perhaps, getting too little sleep, experiencing excess stress and the laundry list continues. Few realize, however, that the way a city is built could have impact too. With the prices of real estate these days in a well designed city it’s like throwing in a gym membership with the deal after all you paid if it’s built in your favour!

Here’s a list with food for thought on this stealthy topic:

  • People who live in a neighbourhood close to a grocery store 24% were less likely to be obese (12% less likely to have hypertension)
  • New immigrants living in a less walkable area were more than 50% more likely to develop diabetes than a long-term resident in a walkable area
  • Boys walked 60% more and girls walking more than doubled in places with a park within a kilometre of the family home
  • The closer the school the more likely kids will use active transportation such as hoofing/biking/skateboarding to get there
  • People who switched from driving to work to taking public transit were 81% less likely to become obese

Who would have thunk we’d need to add an urban planner to the interdisciplinary team of dietitians, doctors, fitness trainers, psychiatrists, not to mention the army of researchers? Now you know!

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Posted in Policy for the People | No Comments »

Gardening Party!

June 2nd, 2013 No Comments Tags: , ,

I just got the memo that it’s time to plant my annuals. As usual I’m a late bloomer in the home planting department. Getting my bubbling rock fully operational seems to take as much work as ramping up an Olympic sized swimming pool which needs to get done before planting begins. I chose a wide variety hoping that some will take. Plans include some spider geraniums here, some impatience there, verbena, wax begonia and more plus a variety of herbs interspersed. Once planted all will be ready for my backyard bunny to nibble on, hmmmm!

It’s a perfect time of year to get out, stay out and play. After a long winter spent editing my brains out all I want to do is be outside with Mother Nature. Just having that sun beam down to lift my spirits and Vitamin D levels while fading my hair colour, bring it on with all of the splendour!

Activities outside surely aren’t for the faint of heart once you get into the swing of things to get your nest in tip top shape. It’s a perfect way to break up that sitting habit and burn a few extra calories while you’re at it. Here’s a shortlist of the calories you’ll burn when doing 30 minutes of any of the following:

  • gardening (moderate pace) 110 calories
  • lawn mowing 162 calories
  • raking 90 calories
  • hedge trimming 126 calories
  • weeding 120 calories

Compare this list to sitting which burns a mere 60 calories per half hour and you’re off to the races with your outdoor movement movement being engaged. I love washing the car as another fair weather activity which burns 90 calories per half hour while waxing it burns 120 calories per half hour. Once those wheels are gleaming it’ll be time to head to the nursery to bring home the mother load to accent your garden and get your gardening party started!

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Posted in Miss Behavin' | No Comments »