Whenever I hear the word “Amish”, and image of pristine green farmland with a horse and buggy in the backdrop come to mind. That and the Amish Furniture Warehouse (I hear they make excellent furniture!!).
Anyway, when my teacher mentioned The Amish Diet earlier this week I was curious and found that it essentially works on then notion of being active to burn off caloric intake. Since the Amish don’t use electricity, they rely on good old-fashioned hard work to complete their daily tasks. They walk a lot and tend to their crops with basic equipment that requires a lot of physical exertion.
In an article I was reading in The Globe and Mail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article907078.ece), the author stated that Amish women walk close to 14,000 steps a day compared to the 2000-3000 here in Canada. In general they do six (6) times more physical activity than does the average Canadian.
What really blew me away is that the average caloric intake for an Amish diet is 3600 and consists of a lot of meat, cakes, gravy, eggs, pies HOWEVER everything is made with whole grains and balanced with lots of fruit and veggies.
What this means is that Amish people have very low incidences of heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
Obviously the Amish lifestyle is not realistic for most of us…but here are a few ideas on how to become a little more Amish in your community:
1.) Leave your car at home. Cars are a big reason we’re getting fat and dying from an overly sedentary life.
2.) Bike (with a helmut) or walk.
3.) Take up a sport; inner tube waterpolo, dodgeball, volleyball, hockey, soccer, tennis – whatever. Don’t drive to your sport….take a bike, subway, or walk.
4.) Walk at lunch. Get away from your desk for even 10 minutes. Canada’s Physical Activity Guide says we should do between 30-60 minutes of exercise each day but it can be broken down into 10 minute increments. Take a 20 minute walk at lunch. You’ll feel more awake and energized.
5.) Start a garden in your backyard.