Trapped in your neighborhood this weekend due to "Carmegeddon," or just afraid to venture out in an automobile? No worries -- consider using this weekend as an excuse to burn calories doing mind-numbing errands.
That's right, you can actually get some exercise by walking or biking to the grocery store, the dry cleaners, the library and the barber.
Just think of the activity you could get: A 30-minute brisk walk for a 150-pound person burns about 175 calories -- that's about a 1-ounce bag of regular potato chips. Cycling for half an hour for a 150-pound person burns about 300 calories. Just staying around the house doing some gardening? That could burn about 300 calories as well. These activities won't just burn off the food you ate, they'll also raise your heart rate, providing cardiovascular benefits.
We realize that not every Los Angeles-area neighborhood is safe and walkable, but there are health advantages to living in areas where it's easy and safe to walk and bike places. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Public Health found areas with higher walkability scores were linked with older residents doing more walking for exercise.