Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lose weight on the playground - A Lazy Girl’s Guide

I am pretty lazy and would rather sit down on the sofa with a pint of half-baked Ben and Jerry’s and watch Something About Mary than go out for a run. Being a lazy girl and trying to figure out how to stay in shape is a tough job and I’m just the girl to figure this puzzle out. The older I get the more that I remember from my childhood. Such as, how I ate anything I wanted and somehow was still skin and bones. So over the past few weeks I have tried to remember my health and physical habits as a little lass. One physical habit that I had as a child was that if it was sunny outside I was out playing. As a child my only job was to play. As an adult I have many responsibilities, example being my cat Jack, needless to say it is very difficult to find time to make playing my number one priority.

The other night I attended a bbq held by one of my favorite persons. We will call her Adventure Girl, since she is always either looking for adventure or right smack dab in the middle of one. While we were waiting for the burgers to be ready she suggested we go swinging on the swing set that just happens to only be a few hundred yards away from where she lives. As someone whom can’t pass up an opportunity to feel the wind blow through my hair and I also love saying yes, the game was on. Adventure Girl and I started off with a friendly game to see who could go the highest. As we both started to pump our legs back and forth I remembered my six pack as a child and now fully understood the reason behind my toned stomach, it was all that pumping on the swing. I would be on the swing set at our house for hours, never wanting to stop and always trying to swing right over the top of the set.

Adventure Girl and I couldn’t stop laughing from the exhilaration we were feeling. Our bodies felt free as we watched our toes almost touch the sky and our hair whisk past our necks. Our bodies would feel weightless for a mere second but that single moment would be enough incentive to reach even higher and higher.

We were on the swings for about 20 minutes, laughing the entire time before we shouted over to our friends asking if the burgers were ready. They were not, so we decided to explore the playground. Explore we did, with great ebullience. We slid down slides, ran across bridges, zipped across zip-lines and bounced around on weird sea creatures. After about 20 minutes both our stomachs were aching from all the laughter and playing, so we ran back to the bbq just in time for our burgers. Let me tell you those burgers never tasted so good!

Here is a break down of the benefits and calories burned during the playground session with Adventure Girl:

Swinging works your legs, abs and arms
Laughing speeds your heart rate, releases muscle tension and increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. It also produces the happy drug in the brain called endorphins. In theory if you laugh for 15 minutes everyday you’ll burn enough calories to lose one pound a year.

Swinging for 20 minutes: 67 Calories
Laughing for 40 minutes: 52 Calories
Playing on the playground for 20 minutes: 76 Calories

Total calories burned for 40 minutes of playing: 196 Calories

That was a good day, no wait, that was a great day!

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