"A Walk in the Park" - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/19/04

"A Walk in the Park"

This week NBC is starting a weight loss reality program in prime time. It is obviously a response to all the publicity about America's weight problem.

Interestingly, there is a difference in weight depending on where you live in the country. If you go to San Francisco, fewer people are overweight. They walk more. The population is into exercise and a culture of 'healthy living.'

Looking around Lubbock, you realize that we too have a weight problem. While we may want our city to be known as a giant, it should not be for the size of our waists.

The best advice is to watch the weight loss challenge on TV and then to challenge ourselves to get moving. We are lucky. We have a very extensive Parks and Recreation program in Lubbock. If only we take advantage of that, we will be healthier.

We have 78 parks in Lubbock and 24 of them have walking trails. The length ranges from 1/5 of a mile to about 2 miles. With the lovely fall weather, a walk in the park would be good for both body and soul. It is a great way to get into motion and to step into a healthier lifestyle.

Walking burns calories--about 300 per hour for a 150 pound person. A brisk walk takes from 13 to 20 minutes. You should walk so that you can still hold a conversation with a companion.

Shoes are not as important on one of the park paths as when you are on pavement. Just make sure they are low heeled and fit well.

Wear layered clothing so that as you warm up you can shed an outer layer. And bring water. You will find that in this windy, warm weather, you need to drink more.

To keep yourself motivated, take a buddy with you. To keep enthused, have as a goal to join the next walk for a cause. It is fun to see some good come of your fitness efforts.

As you get more fit and inspired, you can join a dance or exercise program at one of the 6 community centers. For a small fee, you can take Jazzercise or ballet, line dancing or yoga.

There are also adult leagues for the more ambitious. You can play soccer or softball. There is really no excuse to stay motionless.

A catalog of all these opportunities is listed on the web. ( Click here )  for a link to Lubbock's Parks and Rec Department for a list of all the walking trails at city parks.

This could be a fun opportunity to challenge yourself and compare how well you do against those on the national weight loss challenge. And a fall 'walk in the park' would be a healthy activity for the whole family.

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