How do you keep your waistline in check when you overeat? Take A Hike! So says outdoor enthusiast extraordinaire and author Jeff Alt.
Did you overindulge like most of us during the holidays? Did you set a New Year Resolution to lose weight and get in shape? Have you tried diet plans before only to find yourself back to your old eating habits?
Jeff Alt, author and hiking expert, has an “Overeat and Lose Weight Plan” that is free and will help you to get your life under control.
Alt’s method is a simple three step plan:
- Step One: Develop a walking routine. At least five days a week, take a hike around the neighborhood, park, beach, or nearby trail.
- Make this a family or social event. Routines are easy to stick to when they are established and a walk with family and friends will get everyone away from the distracters of the indoors (TV, computer, etc.) and allow some bonding time with each other. Kids need to get up and move around more than ever with more and more time spent in front of the computer or on the couch playing video games.
- Outfit everyone in comfortable walking shoes or trail shoes (your local outfitter or running shop will help out hear).
- Be sure to wear the right clothing (NO cotton, dress in layers, and dress for the weather).
- Save money and stop driving everywhere. Walk to the grocery store. Walk to your local restaurant for dinner and back. Walk to the library. Make walking and hiking as routine as brushing your teeth.
- Consult with experts (park rangers) and research (websites, local outfitters) before undertaking new parks & trails. Attend local slide shows or lectures (outfitters/libraries/bookstores) every chance you get.
- Step Two: Keep it Fun!
- Let the youngest child or slowest walker lead. This helps you focus on what their interested in and will prevent you from leaving them in your dust.
- Bring the outdoors inside. Educate your kids constantly to generate interest and enthusiasm. Take lots of pictures of the kids and places you go. Make posters for the family and living room and for Christmas cards. Get magazines, videos, and artwork of those places you want to go. Rent movies about faraway places. Use the Internet together to look at maps, and photographs of the wildlife, environments, and spectacular scenery you will be visiting someday.
- Go high tech. Bring on the gadgetry! Turn your computer game nerds on to the adventure technology. (e.g. GPS, pedometers headlamp flashlights, geocaching) and teach them all about how these incredible devices are being used for fun, like scavenger hiking in the Shenandoah & Great Smoky Mtn Ntl. Parks.
- Take the kids to a local orienteering course and learn how to use GPS & compass together.
- Use your local walks to train for a bigger adventure to a distant park.
- Involve everyone in your family; especially the kids, in planning out all trips and adventures. Older children can use the computer to research your destination or sport. (all national parks and most other destinations have websites chock full of facts & info., maps, wildlife).
- Let the kids (especially teens) bring along a friend. Get permission from parents and make it a club adventure.
- Step Three: Eat!
- Use an online calorie intake and calories burned calculator to figure out how many calories you typically consume each day, then figure out the distance you would have to hike to burn those calories off. Any search engine will pull up lots of these calculators.
- The pedometer and trail maps will help you determine if you’ve covered enough distance to burn the necessary calories.
- Eat a daily healthy balanced meal. Including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Consult with a dietician for help. So, when you do go off the reservation and splurge on junk food, you have a normal eating routine to snap back to.
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