UPDATE: American Heart Association Encourages Walking

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email
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UPDATE 4/2/2014 8:59 PM

It doesn't cost a thing and the benefits are endless, so Wednesday, on National Walking Day – people got walking.

"The cardio alone is just unbelievable in itself, but it's also a good opportunity to socialize and fraternize,” says Leigh McCreery of Vienna.

Clark Rice of Parkersburg likes to get moving.

"I come to the mall to walk to get the exercise,” Rice says. “Camden Clark has had the exercise program here for quite a while and we come all the time."

It doesn't take much to strengthen and protect your heart.

"Studies have shown that just walking 30 minutes a day can decrease your blood pressure and also your cholesterol levels,” says Kim Ward, metro executive director of the Great Rivers Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

It comes once a year, the first Wednesday in April lace up your sneakers and walk your way to better heart health.

"It's a great activity and when the weather is nicer we'll be walking outside; probably coming here, I would think, once or twice a week,” McCreery says.

Walking is a simple exercise to enjoy and at the same time reap the benefits.

"Definitely feel better and it's the spring too, that helps, you know – to get out and walk,” Rice says.

Not sure how to get started? There are several fun ways to work walking into your life.

"Especially with the lovely weather we're having right now; it's a great time to get outside – get some fresh air, go to a public park, take a walk around the block,” Ward says. “Also, if you have an indoor area, that would be fine too; just whatever you feel comfortable with."

Ward says all it takes is a moment to put your plan in motion and start living a healthier lifestyle.
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UPDATE 4/2/2014 5:40 PM

It doesn't cost a thing, unless you count sneakers.

And the benefits are endless, so today's the day to get walking on National Walking Day.

Kim Ward, metro executive director of the Great Rivers Affiliate of the American Heart Association says studies show that walking just 30 minutes a day can decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which significantly impacts heart health.

Especially with the recent warming trend, it's a great time to be outside, get some fresh air, go to a park, take a walk around the block or an indoor area like the mall.

"Walking does have a calming effect," Ward says, "and I think that's why it does lower your blood pressure and also too, a lot of folks tend to walk with a friend, so that's just a good time to catch up and talk about some things or even walk by yourself."

According to Ward, all it takes is a moment to put your plan in motion and start living a healthier lifestyle.


Adults spend more time at work than ever before.

As a nation, we're more inactive and doubling our risk of heart disease.

But it's a problem you can help fix by getting involved in the American Heart Association's National Walking Day Wednesday.

Kevin Pauley, communication director with the American Heart Association, says employees are encouraged to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk.

"Tweet your feet" using #AHALaceUp to show your support.

"Sedentary work has increased by 83 percent in the United States since 1950," says Pauley. "And really I think statistics show only one out of four people in our workforce works in what is considered a physically active job."

Pauley says whether it's a 10 minute walk in the morning or a simple walk on your lunch break, anything that gets you up and moving, away from the computer desk, out from the cubicle or out of the office is beneficial.


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