So you’re looking to lose some weight, tone up a little bit, or cut some of those unhealthy calories from your diet. But at the same time, you work a full time job, you’re a full time parent, and you have to get to the gym for that full hour of cardio or you may only have 5 minutes for a snack. Lucky for you, math can help. Let’s do some homework!
Problem 1: You need to get to the gym, but you work 9-5, take the kids to soccer at 6, need to have dinner ready by 7:30, and at some point you have to finish a work project by the next morning. How do you get in your 30 minutes of exercise?
Answer: Instead of taking an hour to get to the gym, actually exercising, and getting back home, break your day into 3, 10 minute sessions. Take a 10 minute break at the office and walk around the building, after you drop your kids off at soccer take another 10 minute walk around the fields or complex, and take a 10 minute walk after dinner to not only get in that last bit of activity but also clear your mind before your project.
How the math stacks up: 30 minutes of exercise x 5 days a week = 150 minutes of activity. Now take 150 minutes of activity x the 52 weeks in a year = 7,800 minutes. That’s 130 hours of activity you gain in 1 year.
Problem 2: You’re trying to cut some calories but A. you only have a small amount of time to eat something at work and B. you feel like you need a caffeine or energy boost in the middle of the day. What do you do?
Answer: A. Skip the vending machine chips that contain on average 155 calories a serving, and grab a cup of greek yogurt before you walk out the door for only 100 calories! B. Instead of sipping on soda to get your boost for 140 calories, try a cup of black coffee or tea for an average of 1.5 calories!
How the math stacks up: A. Switching from a bag of chips to a cup of yogurt saves you 55 calories a day. 55 calories x 5 days a week is 275 calories a week. 275 calories a week x 52 weeks out of the year is 14,300 calories! B. If you make the switch to black coffee or tea, you cut about 138 calories a day. 138 calories x 5 days a week is 690 calories. 690 calories x 52 weeks in a year is 42,780 calories. If you make these 2 simple changes, you’re looking at cutting 57,080 calories a year.
Taking small steps like swapping out 1 sugary beverage a day or just taking a few breaks for a walk really add up over a long period of time. And after awhile, these changes will be easy and become part of your everyday lifestyle. So the next time you’re looking for a small way to cut some calories or get to the gym, do the small math. And if anyone asks you to show your work, you’ll be able to—with your fit and healthy body.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.