The U.S. Surgeon General and other health and wellness leaders hope you'll consider burning off 90 to 120 calories during lunchtime today – by walking.
Today is National Walk at Lunch Day, when all Americans who are able are encouraged to take a 30-minute walk.
“Walking is the grand slam of physical activities,” said Philip L. Haberstro, executive director of the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo.
Haberstro and I will lead a walk along the Buffalo waterfront today starting at noon from The Buffalo News building at Scott and Washington streets. We plan to stroll through Canalside.
The Wellness Institute also will host an hourlong mini-health fair starting at 11 a.m. in The News lobby.
If you weigh 150 pounds, the half-hour walk will burn off about 90 calories. If you weigh 200 pounds, it'll be closer to 120 calories.
That's roughly enough to burn off three slices of pineapple, three cups of air-popped popcorn (or two cups sprinkled with Parmesan cheese), ¾ of an ounce of sharp cheddar cheese, or a small oatmeal cookie.
A brisk half-hour walk five times a week also provides an array of health benefits, according to the advocacy group American Walks:
– Older Americans who walk regularly have better long-term health outcomes.
– Walkable neighborhoods have much lower rates of traffic fatalities – for both pedestrians and motorists.
– One-third of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. – where one-quarter of all trips are within a mile from home – are transportation related.
“Walking helps people stay both physically and mentally healthy,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said in his 2015 call to make Americans more frequent walkers and American communities more walkable. “It brings business districts to life and can help reduce air pollution.”
Even if you can't join Haberstro and me for a lunchtime walk today, we encourage you to walk a half-hour wherever you are – even if it's not at lunchtime.
It's a beautiful April day in Western New York.
Twitter: @BNrefresh, @ScottBScanlon