5 Miles or 10 Minutes

When I was younger, I spent countless hours outside engaged in a sport or just biking. I never had to think about how long I was out there or if I got enough exercise for one day. One memory I have involves myself fasting the night before for a blood test the next day. I had gone to bed around 9pm and had to be up for a 7am blood test. A friend had invited me to come and play football with a bunch of our friends earlier that week and I had told them I would. I figured the appointment would allow me to go home, get some food and then go out to play. I remember the appointment took the whole morning and I had my mom drop me off at the field from the doctor’s office. I played for 4 hours without ever eating and I didn’t feel hungry at all until I got home.

As an adult, I find it harder to find four hours to devote to exercise, let alone, fast for 17 hours straight. I organize me time as well as possible and hope that fate doesn’t force me to stay at work later or find some other reason for not making my workout. I get home and I’m torn between running five miles or doing a quick ten minute skip with the jump rope. Go out and see the sights, or sweat profusely with music pumping in the background feeling like Buddy Lee.

According to the physical activity calorie calculator from American Council on Exercise, a 150 lbs. person can burn 136 calories with 10 minutes of high intensity jump roping. Amby Burfoot, an editor for Runner’s World, had in his article “How Many Calories Are You Really Burning?” a formula to calculate the calories burned from running a mile. Based on the calculations, a person 150 pounds running five miles would burn about 472.5 calories.

I digest the findings and look at my choices. In the end, I reach down and pick up the jump rope and walk onto my patio and turn the music up. I know I’m burning fewer calories, but in my mind, ten minutes is all I have.

Run or Jump


American Council on Exercise, Get Fit: Physical Activity Calorie Calculator http://www.acefitness.org/calculators/physical-activity-calorie-calculator.aspx

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