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healthy living

Take the Bus to Lose Weight

Written on September 3, 2014 at 9:55 am , by

Big city turn you into a public transit kind of gal? We know it isn’t always a great experience—strange, sweaty bodies too close to you in the summer and bone-chilling wind greeting you with each station-to-office trek in the winter.

But don’t cash your bus coins in yet. A new study found that those who commute via public transportation have less fat and an overall lower BMI than those who drive a car. Ellen Flint, Ph.D., a researcher at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who led the study, says it’s the walks to and from your destination that are keeping you trimmer—an entire 6 pounds, in fact, for a 5-foot-4-inch woman.

Flint studied 7,500 men and women in the UK. Those who walked, biked, or used public transportation to and from work were not only 6 pounds lighter, but an entire BMI point lower than their car-commuting counterparts. “And that was despite adjustment for a range of other factors about the lifestyles of these individuals that we thought might be responsible for their weight status and commuting choices,” she explains. “So things like diet quality; how health-conscious a person is; income and socioeconomic status; the amount of physical activity that the person does in their job and in their leisure; their health and disability status: We really adjusted for all of those factors to try and distill the relationship between the level of activity in their commute to work and their bodyweight and composition.”

Flint hopes the study sheds light on the fact that even though riding a bus to work doesn’t seem any more exerting than driving a car, the required body-movement bursts—like walking to and from the train station, standing on the bus, and climbing up and down stairs—really do make a difference.

“On a population health level, encouraging that incidental physical activity in the daily lives of the population could really add up to something which might help combat obesity levels,” she says. “It’s quite a large weight difference. It’s one that we think is clinically significant and it suggests that there is a large untapped potential for policy makers to consider the health benefits one might get if one was to really try and promote and facilitate greater use of public and active forms of transport.”

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Fit Blogger We Love: The Wannabe Athlete

Written on March 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm , by

Callie rocked the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in February. Doesn't she make a pretty Belle?

Have you ever read a blog and felt like you were never going to reach the same levels of healthy living superstardom? (We know we have!) While those blogs give us a great, powerful dose of inspiration, sometimes it’s nice to remember that not everyone needs to be a hardcore elite athlete. In those moments, we head over to The Wannabe Athlete to catch up with Callie. Her fun-loving, “always aspiring to do better” attitude keeps us looking forward to her next post, and her adorable baby leaves us feeling all mushy gushy inside. Read on to find out what she can’t live without and how she finds the motivation to just. keep. pushing. through the tough stuff.

My favorite way to work out: Lately, it’s running. I never thought I would be someone who said that! But ever since having my first baby last summer, I’ve realized it’s the easiest thing to work into my crazy schedule. I’ve also gone through phases of loving Tae Bo (anyone else?), triathlons, a kickboxing class and yoga.

My “I Did It” moment: Crossing the finish line at my first half-marathon just eight months after having a baby. I saw the finish line come in to view and just kept saying (out loud), “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.” I couldn’t believe I had done it!

5 things I can’t live without:

  1. My family, obviously.
  2. An Internet connection—I am a blogger after all!
  3. Peanut butter. My husband can’t stand the smell of it, but I just can’t live without it. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t eat at least one thing with peanut butter on it!
  4. Sunshine. I crave it! I’m the type of girl who likes to have all of the windows open with the sun streaming in as brightly as possible. I get that from my mom. I also could never live in a place where I can’t wear flip flops for at least 11 months of the year. I’m a Floridian, through and through.
  5. My faith. It’s absolutely vital to my existence.

My fave fit snack: Chobani! My husband actually told me to put this as one of the five things I can’t live without. He might be right.

On my fit life list: Running a marathon. (Gulp!)

My motivation comes from: I want to set a good example of a healthy lifestyle for my son. But I have to admit, being able to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans has been a pretty motivating goal as well!

Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Email blog@fitnessmagazine.com