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By Julie Fitzgerald

Sunday, 31 March 2013.

Easter, the transition point between winter and summer, is a milestone in the calendar. The evenings are getting longer, the air isn’t quite as chilly and many of us are thinking about holidays, and getting in shape for Summer! It’s also the second biggest ’eating occasion’ of the year after Christmas. Family dinners of roast lamb, roast spuds, gravy, and a traditional slice of cake for afters. That’s before you hit the chocolate eggs, or in the case of the kids, probably well after…

The good thing is that Easter tends to be a far more relaxing occasion than Christmas. There’s less pressure on everyone to produce gifts, perform miracles in the kitchen and entertain streams of visitors. That means you may just have a little more time on your hands to wind down for the long weekend or whole week if you’re lucky. So what are you going to do with your time?

Know the damage

A small chocolate egg could last you about 10 minutes if you ate the lot in one sitting (even the smallest one will give you 555 calories and 32 grams of fat). If you eat it in front of the TV you would burn just 36 calories over that period of time which means the other 519 calories would go straight to your fat cells.

To burn the energy from even that smallest of chocolate eggs you need to:

  • Walk at a moderate pace for 1 hour and 20 minutes(about 4 miles)
  • Jog for 40 minutes
  • Swim at a moderate pace for an hou
  • Do aerobics for 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Play competitive football for 1 hour and 10 minutes

**(These figures are based on someone who weighs 11 stone)

Is it worth it? Well, you might decide that it is ‘just this once’. If you do, then the equation is simple: whatever calories you take in as chocolate, you have to get out there and burn off before those calories get stored as fat. We’ve come up with a few ideas...

Burn fat this Easter

  • It’s Easter Saturday: forgot to get something essential for tomorrow’s meal? Why not take the ten minutes to walk to the corner shop to get some fresh air and exercise.
  • Instead of settling down in front of the TV after your Easter dinner, take an hour to get out for a walk, clear the head and get your metabolism moving.
  • Join the kids in the garden in the hunt for eggs.
  • If you have children who are on holidays all week, keep them entertained by planning outdoor activities like a trip to the beach, park or forest, a game of football, or a bike-ride so that you can benefit from the activity too.
  • Arrange to meet a friend for a walk or a visit to the local leisure centre to take some time out for yourself.
  • Take some time to work in the garden.
  • Before Easter sinks to your stomach, get that bathing suit out of the mothballs and get yourself down to the local pool and swim it off.

Have a happy, active Easter!



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