Earth Day is February 22nd; here are a few earth friendly ways to improve your physical health!
Walk or bike instead of driving to work, school or even to the store. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day. By simply adding one of these activities into your routine you can ensure you get the recommend amount each day! Walking 1 mile at a pace of 15 minutes per mile burns about 370 calories. Biking 1 hour burns about 650 calories.
Plant a garden. One hour of gardening burns about 272 calories per hour. Gardening consists of a lot of squatting. Squatting, if done correctly, is one of the best ways to strengthen your gluteus muscles (buttock) and legs. A good squat consists of bending your knees, keeping your back fairly straight, having your buttock reach out behind you, heels stay on the ground and knees stay behind your toes! Also, often times you are on your hands and knees when gardening. Believe it or not, this developmental position (a position that is used by babies as they grow to help develop their muscles) is very good at improving your core, arm, and leg strength. This position is used a lot in physical therapy to assist with strengthening when people have back pain, shoulder pain and many other ailments.
Plant a tree. Planting trees burns about 300 calories per hour. Check out www.sustainablesaratoga.com for information on the"Urban Forestry Project". It will take place this Saturday 4/21 from 10-12:30. Volunteers will "assess and catalog the tress throughout the city"
Run for the environment. There are various races that raise money to support environmental causes (e.g. 5k Run for Clean Air) and there are even people who perform cross country runs to raise money for the same cause (e.g. "Run for One Planet"). I did do a quick search and did not find one yet in the Capital District however it is a good option to keep your eyes open.
Assist with community clean up. Raking burns nearly 300 calories per hour. It is a great activity to assist with strengthening the muscles in the middle of your back if done correctly! Check out the Events section at Saratoga.com for more Earth Day celebrations, activities, and events.
We encourage you all to get active to assist not only with your health but the health of the earth!
Websites used for Estimating Calories Burned:
1. http://www.healthdiscovery.net/links/calculators/calorie_calculator.htm Accessed on 28 April 2012
2. http://caloriecount.about.com/activities-lawn-garden-ac8 Accessed on 28 April 2012