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How a Gap Year Can Help You Lose Weight

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Vicky Philpott

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Written by: Vicky Philpott

Turns out we’re set to be a nation of fatties come 2040, well half of us anyway. The National Obesity Forum spokesperson, Tam Fry (real surname?! Suggest change to poach or bake? ) says that by 2040, 50% of us will be classified as obese. The health issues related to this are predicted to cost the UK more than £50million. But it’s not the money that matters so much – it’s your health, your mobility, your life.
Chairman of the Forum, David Haslam says “‘Not only is the obesity situation not improving but the doomsday scenario set out in that report might underestimate the true scale of the problem.”
So, what can you do to prevent yourself wheezing as you climb the stairs, sweating as you waddle to the bus stop or wiping your bed sores when you’ve let yourself go just that little bit too far?
Go on a gap year, of course!
Staying healthy on your gap year
We can guarantee that in the average gap year your day will look like this:

  • Jump our your bunk bed excited for the day – walk to the showers
  • Go and find breakfast – quite hot so you don’t want too much, just some fruit
  • Walk around and explore, for hours
  • Go to the beach and walk in the sand / swim in the sea
  • Try some locally cooked, locally sourced cuisine
  • Go trekking
  • Lift your backpack
  • Walk to the train station to save paying for transport
  • Walk the streets having a few beers in the fading sun

You get the idea.
While, if you stay at home you’re looking more like this:

  • Walk two steps to the shower
  • Fatty breakfast to keep you warm
  • Get in your car and drive to work / college
  • Sit, all day
  • Eat some fatty food
  • Sit some more
  • Eat because you’re bored – high sugar, high calorie
  • Get in your car to go home
  • Make a half hearted attempt at the gym
  • Meet friends for a beer and sit down in pub
  • Grab a kebab
  • Sleep

Which lifestyle would you prefer?

The one where you’re outside soaking up the sun all day, testing your body to its limits and munching on locally produced cuisine or the one you sit on your arse, all day long, eating packaged crap from the local supermarket?
There’s plenty of time for the latter when you’re old and ladened down with kids. Now it’s time to live and stick with the former.

Your healthy gap year

Taking a gap year is the perfect opportunity to lose a few inches off your thighs and tone that six pack. If you’ve gone a bit crazy on the cheeseburgers and alcopops the last few years you could take a gap year to turn your lifestyle around, and get yourself into some healthy habits. The freedom of not having a desk job, means you have all the more time to get outside and explore the world.
In all the crazy adventures and exploits gappers enjoy, you may even find a new calling in life. You might actually like some sort of exercise, and you may even be good at it. Your parents won’t recognise you when you come back home.
Chilling on the beach on a gap year

Calorie exertion comparison

Gap year

  • Climbing Kilimanjaro (6,500 per day)
  • Scuba diving (500p/h)
  • Farm work (500p/h)
  • Skydiving (238p/h)
  • Skiing (400p/h)

Fat year

  • Sitting at work / school (53p/h)
  • Working at a pub (200p/h)
  • Driving (122p/h)
  • Walking (136p/h)
  • Running (900p/h)

Days on end exploring new places is much better for your physical and mental health than sitting indoors, especially in your early 20s. The obesity epidemic is down to sedentary lifestyles
The thing about gap years is that you’re up and about all the time, or at least more than you would be at home. Some gappers get settled in one place and just like to chill out in a hammock on a beach, maybe do a bit of work in a bar and then party all night. While others prefer to use their gap year to add to their CV – volunteering here, working there – either way they’re outside, moving about and experiencing new things. All vital aspects of staying healthy and losing weight.
So along with the fact that your gap year will be the best time of your life, you’re going to learn loads, do loads, see loads, and meet more new friends than you ever imagined, going on a gap year is also great for your health.
What else can we say to persuade you?!

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