How to reduce your waistline and your carbon footprint.

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C. I noticed something very unusual. Most of the people were thin. Why? Because people walk EVERYWHERE! They walk to work, school, the market, friends' houses, movies. You name it, they walk it.

Right now you are thinking of a thousand reasons why this will never work for you. Allow me to read your mind:

Everything is close by in a big city They all go to expensive gyms I don't have time for that
Everything can be close by here (yes even in the 'burbs). All people don't go to expensive gyms. And yes you do have time.

1. Do all your shopping in one area. You may have to drive to the area but you don't need to drive from store to store. Park your car at one end of a long shopping strip or community of small businesses and walk store to store. Only use your car to get there and go home, and bring reusable bags with you.

2. Don't drive to your destination. Pick someplace close to your house where you and your family enjoy going and walk there. It might take longer to get there than it would by car, but it will make the trip more of a family experience. Besides, if you're walking to get some ice cream, the walk back will give you a chance to walk off those delicious calories.

3. Park it for a day. Pick one day a week or every two weeks when the car does not move. This gives you the opportunity to explore what is in walking distance around you. Once you start walking, you may realize there are a lot of interesting places closer than you originally thought. Want to go farther? Then break out the wheels. The bike wheels that is.

Some of this might be difficult, but Rome was not built in a day and that weight didn't appear overnight. Try adding one of these suggestions to your routine. Stop looking at the active family on your block and wishing you could be more like them. Start doing it! I know you can!