Losing pounds

139375783So it’s really true! That age-old women’s magazine chestnut about getting off the bus a stop early or using the stairs instead of the lift has been tried and tested and found to work! I have trotted out the line about building more walking into your daily commute many a time myself, so it’s lovely to find it finally proven by real-life scientists.

This week researchers from the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London discovered that giving up the car and walking or using public transport or a bike to get to work can shave inches off your waistline. On average men who cycle or take public transport are about half a stone lighter than those who drive and women five and a half pounds lighter. And as someone who spent an inordinately long time on public transport yesterday going to and from the Natural History Museum with Katy I can vouch for the extra energy needed. Partly because I had my mind on other things, and partly because the tubes were going haywire, we ended up changing trains three times, which is a lot of walking up and down escalators. And we weren’t strolling either – you’ve got to keep up quite a speed when you’re having to keep pace with some very determined tourists who were trying to hoover up the dinosaurs, the wedding dress exhibition at the Victoria and Albert and the Egyptian mummies into one relaxed afternoon’s sightseeing. It was like trying to avoid being run down by a flock of Gallimimus in Jurassic Park https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM-RPO10aPY. By the time we finally got to see the baby mammoth I think I must have had the thighs of Tutankhamun.

Still, it was worth it. I’m so glad our museums are free. I barely noticed the £14.40 charge for the mammoth exhibition, the £8 tea and cake bill and the £9.50 ransom I paid to get out of the gift shop before dark. They have a gift shop for almost every room now – one for the mammoths, one for the dinosaurs and oh what’s this? One for the cuddly Neanderthals. (Human skull dinner plate anyone? A snip at £40.) Yep, you can lose pounds on a good day out if you know what you’re doing.

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn

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