Move Slower To Lose Weight

If you’re in a rush every day to get to work, to go to the store or to run errands, researchers at the University of Illinois say you could probably lose weight by slowing down. And your health will benefit, too.

The Illinois study indicates that instead of hopping into your car at a moment’s notice and speeding out to visit friends or shop, if you walk or take public transportation, you’ll probably shed pounds. Their analysis demonstrates that staying out of the car can help you lose weight as effectively as dieting.

“We’re saying that making small changes in travel or diet choices may lead to comparable obesity reduction, which implies that travel-based interventions may be as effective as dietary interventions,” says researcher Banafsheh Behzad.

According to this study, doing more driving makes it more likely that you will be overweight or obese.

“An easy way to be more physically active is to spend less time in an automobile. Anytime a person sits behind the wheel of a car, it’s one of the most docile activities they can do in a day,” says researcher Sheldon H . Jacobson. “The automobile is the quickest mode of transportation we have. But a consequence of this need for speed in getting things done may be the obesity epidemic.”

The researchers say that if everyone merely drove one less mile per day, the country’s collective weight and healthcare cost could be cut by billions of dollars.

“The most important thing for people to learn from this study is that they have a choice,” Jacobson said. “One has to be just as careful about when you choose to drive as when you choose to eat. These small changes in our driving and dietary habits can lead to long-term significant changes in obesity issues. Those are the kind of changes we advocate.”


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.