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Calorie burning suggestions for the nonathletic

January 18, 2001

Calorie burning suggestions for the nonathletic



Every January, it happens. A flood of magazine articles, news clips and headlines scream at us, "You're too fat. Lose weight!"

OK. I get the message, but I have to admit, I'm weakening on my New Year's resolution to drop some poundage. After all, its been 21 long, chocolate-free days. What's a woman to do?

Eating healthful foods and exercising regularly leaves me exhausted.

Let's face it, the demands of work, family and holidays make a stop at the local grease pit for a burger and fries tempting. And leftover Christmas truffles magically jump into my hands every time I open the kitchen pantry.

Still, I'm trying. Thanks to advances in modern science and careful grocery shopping, I have been able to eliminate fat from all aspects of my life except one - my body. That's because my body conserves fat. You see, fat was rarely found in my ancestors' diets, and it's my job to savor what they didn't have.

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In today's world, however, Americans consume too much fat. Even when we diet, we like to embellish low-fat recipes. For example, when a recipe calls for yogurt, I substitute Hagen Dazs ice cream. I guess it's not surprising that instead of losing weight, I'm packing on the pounds.

But I'm not alone. In a recent scientific survey, the average American weighs slightly more than a 1980 Buick Roadmaster. As a result, Americans are weight-conscious, leading them to read reduced-calorie and fat-free labels, usually while eating a Kit Kat bar.

Did you know the FDA initiated a new set of guidelines concerning food labeled as "low-fat" or "lower fat?" All such foods must pass rigorous FDA inspection by the FDA inspection staff. And the FDA recommends a few tips for consumers to protect themselves.

No. 1: If the food has a good taste, it's probably too high in fat. The FDA recommends that you, yes, you, Mr. Fattypants, stop, drop and roll away from the item, then immediately report it to a secret FDA inspector.

No. 2: Burn more calories than you take in. That's the latest news in a governmental study of fad diets.

So begins our love affair with exercise machines.

How many of you own an exercise machine or contraption of some kind? I own five. My treadmill has been converted to a clothes rack for my off-season wardrobe and the other contraptions, including my Thigh Master, are used as scarecrows for my vegetable garden.

It's easier, I discovered, to go to a fitness center and work out on posh, sleek, machines that do the work for you. According to my highly clinical observation, however, every machine used in a fitness center focuses on one thing: jiggling your butt.

What do you do if you are not athletic? Burn calories by the hundreds by engaging in strenuous activities that do not require exercise.

Here is a list of calories burners to get you started:

Exercise - Calories burned per hour:

  • Beating around the bush - 75
  • Jumping to conclusions - 100
  • Climbing the walls - 250
  • Swallowing your pride - 150 150
  • Throwing your weight around (depending on your weight) - 50-300
  • Dragging your heals - 75
  • Banging your head into walls - 95
  • Pushing your luck - 235
  • Making mountains out of molehills - 500
  • Hitting the nail on the head - 50
  • Running around in circles - 400
  • Bending over backward - 125
  • Passing the buck - 35
  • Tooting your own horn - 25
  • Climbing the ladder of success - 1,000
  • Adding fuel to the fire - 120
  • Putting your foot in your mouth - 300
  • Going over the edge - 50
  • And my favorite activity:

    Picking up the pieces - 600



Let's get out there and burn some calories!

JoEllen Barnhart is assistant to the director for Frostburg State University's Hagerstown Center. She has three sons.

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