11.23.2007

Walking Off Thanksgiving Dinner: Prepare For a Day Hike

If you enjoyed a large traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner yesterday, a feast of 2800 calories, give or take a 1,000, you may want to walk it off today. So, here's how to keep those extra pounds off. Lace up some sturdy hiking boots, walk out the front door, commence walking, and then return home 7 hours later.

Sorry about this. Depending on individual weight, walking speed, and terrain, walking burns an average of 100 calories per mile. That's not much. So, consuming even a few more hundred calories a day would necessitate a few more hours of daily walking in order to keep extra pounds from piling on.

I need to visualize what my walk would look like if I want to seriously contain holiday overeating, so I've plotted a 15-mile course through Manhattan. Just to walk off HALF of the calories I probably consumed yesterday, I would need to start in Washington Square Park at the arch, walk up Fifth Avenue all the way to 110 St. turn left, walk back down the west side of the park, take Broadway all the way down to Battery Park, turn north on Church, and then make my way through Tribeca and SoHo back to Greenwich Village.

This fantasy day hike, of course, seems overwhelming right now. But I can make amends for at least part of the Thanksgiving feast by choosing to walk 2 or 3 miles at a moderate pace of 15 minutes per mile. Some fast window shopping along Fifth Avenue or Broadway may be just the ticket.

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