The American Heart Association wants people to lace up and get moving in celebration of National Walking Day (April 1).
These days, we’re spending more time at work and sitting in front of a screen than ever before. We’re becoming less active, which can increase our risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases.
Simply walking has many health benefits. Research has shown that every hour of regular exercise can add about two hours to life expectancy, even if you don’t start until midlife. Plus, physical activity can relieve depression, improve your memory, lower your blood pressure and help prevent obesity. On the other hand, being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are the nation’s leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability. They account for about one of every three deaths each year and more than $300 billion a year in health-related costs including lost productivity.
Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, and kids should get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. But 80 percent of Americans don’t make exercise a regular habit, according to a recent American Heart Association survey. Statistics show that people tend to stick with walking more than other forms of exercise. That’s why the association promotes walking as one of the simplest and most effective ways for everyone to get moving. The American Heart Association provides a wealth of walking, physical activity and healthy living information online and sponsors local programs and events like the Heart Walk.
How will you get moving on National Walking Day? Use the hashtag #AHALaceUp and let us know!