Las Vegas – A Healthy (Walking) City

I was in Las Vegas to celebrate a big birthday in our family and went a little overboard on the buffets (let’s just say the management at the Paris buffet hopes I never come back). Luckily enough though, for as much as Sin City is thought of as an unhealthy city full of all you can eat buffets, bars that never close and smoke filled casino halls, Vegas does offer a lot of health benefits.

One of the biggest health benefits is the enormity of the hotels. There are two reason’s I make this statement and both have to do with the amount of walking that goes on in the city.

The obvious one is that the casinos have strategically placed the elevators to the rooms and shops on the far side of the casino floor. They do this, obviously, to make you stop and throw a dollar or two into the slots, or to put a Benjamin Franklin on the roll of the dice. But there are benefits of this placement to you as well.

Because the hotel elevators and shops are not directly next to the door, you are forced to walk further in order to get to them. Likewise, on your way out, you must walk equally as far to get out of the hotel. The fact that these resources are not close forces you to walk further, thus getting more exercise.

If you are staying in the hotel, odds are that your room is not next to the elevator once you get off, which means more walking. So if you combine the walk to the elevators with the walk to your room, you are burning off a lot of calories.

The second benefit of the size of hotels is that you are probably not going to spend your entire vacation in a single hotel. If you are on the strip you will probably want to go sight-seeing. Maybe you want to see the shark tank at Mandalay Bay or the art exhibit at the Bellagio, or maybe you are going to catch a show at the Venetian. Whatever your reasoning, you will probably be heading outside.

Depending on which hotel you start from, and what your destination is, there is a good chance you may be taking a stroll on the strip to get from place to place. The fact that these hotels are enormous also gives you health benefits. Even if you are going next door, say from Caesar’s Palace its neighbor to the North, The Mirage, you are probably going to walk 1/2 mile each way. Add in the return trip and all the walking while inside the casino and you are well over 1 mile.

Now… how many calories can you actually burn from all this walking?

Burned calories are based on two factors: your weight and your pace. The heavier you are and the faster your pace, the more calories you will burn while walking. Below is a chart with averages, based on a pace of 3 mph.

· 130 to 140 pounds – 3.5 calories burned per minute

· 145 to 155 pounds – 4.0 calories burned per minute

· 160 to 170 pounds – 4.5 calories burned per minute

· 175 to 185 pounds – 5.0 calories burned per minute

· 190 to 200 pounds – 5.5 calories burned per minute

If you don’t fall within this chart you can add about .5 calories/minute for roughly every 10 pounds more or less than the chart above.

So, if you walk from Caesar’s Palace to the Mirage and back, while stopping into the Forum Shops to see what the latest sales are, a 170 person can expect to burn in the neighbor hood of 270 calories. Plus, if you bet all your money on red, and it hits, you will burn more calories jumping.

So, while Vegas has a reputation for overindulgence, there are some built in benefits to taking a trip to the city. Just keep in mind, as you should wherever you are, that your best bet, health-wise, is to always choose the heal-toe express over driving or taking the bus. You may not know it, but shuffling along does your body good.

Keep sporting!