Monday, April 7, 2008

The No Car Diet

Wow....another article about bloggers' deadly lifestyle in the Sunday NYT this weekend: Writers Blog Til They Drop. Seeing the headline, my son actually said to me, "You're not going to die, are you Mommy?" I think he was kidding. Maybe he thinks there's a weird virus that you get when you stare at the computer screen too long. I don't think he needs to worry, though. My blog is hardly written under 24/7 deadline pressure. And just to set the record straight, even though I blog about food and family dinner, I'm not overweight. I do wish I could find more time to exercise, but I'm pretty healthy. Living in Brooklyn, with three kids, a dog, and no car, I do quite a bit of walking and biking.

My daily walking routine clocks in at roughly 3 miles or more. Plus there's schlepping groceries, pushing the stroller, and carrying the weary toddler to add to the "weight" training.
I often joke that you should forget your "no-carb" diet and get a "no-car" diet.
It's pretty simple: Incorporating regular exercise into your day, be it a bike commute or walking your dog, helps burn calories. The NYC Department of Health found that Manhattanites were more healthy that other New Yorkers because of all the walking they do. It's the same in Downtown Brooklyn, if you can eschew the car and get around on foot. Not only do you get more exercise without a car, you experience the city in a whole different way. Instead of looking for parking, you stop in shops as you pass them. My daughter is quite proud that she bikes to school every day with her Dad. Not having a car is near impossible anywhere outside of a city, but you can try to reduce your car dependence and walk and bike more. Good for the environment, good for you health.

Speaking of transportation and lifestyle alternatives: Today may be the day that they vote on congestion pricing for NYC. Doesn't look good, but our family is hoping for a "yes" vote. We think it is a fair policy that will relieve traffic congestion in our busy neighborhood and get more money for public transportation. More information on this topic and on livable streets can be found at Streetsblog.com. Support Congestion Pricing! Call your state assembly member today!

Sorry the topic is only tangential to family dinner today; it is certainly a big topic of conversation at our family table!

In a Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Til They Drop, Matt Richtel, NYT 04.06.08
Taking Back the Streets, Jeff Byles, NYT 04.06.08

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