Walkers Stride to Better Health on National Walking Day

The American Heart Association (AHA) is on a mission to be Healthy for Good every day. The approach is simple, eat smart, be well and of course MOVE MORE! In April our focus is to get everyone to move more and sit less with the help of workplaces, communities and people around the world.

The AHA and Live Fierce sponsor, Sheehy Auto Stores, challenged local companies and community members in an annual continuous virtual walking event on National Walking Day, Wednesday, April 6. The day unites millions across the country in a commitment to live a healthier lifestyle and get physically active. One in 4 U.S. adults sit for longer than eight hours each day, which can hurt your physical and mental health. Physical activity is a powerful tool — and a mood booster. It also helps us reduce stress and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.

“We look forward to National Walking Day every year because walking is such an important first step in improving your heart health and mental well-being,” said Vince Sheehy, President of Sheehy Auto Stores. “We had a record-breaking year in terms of step totals and participation across our dealerships. I am so proud of our Sheehy team for their enthusiasm and commitment to health.” To date, Sheehy’s fundraising efforts have raised $2 million for the AHA.

Hundreds of employees and individuals from a total of 13 companies and organizations across the Greater Washington Region walked throughout the day, sending in their step count that went toward their team’s total. Participants also shared their steps on social media using #MoveMore.

The top stepping organization was the DMV Links with a total of 2,815,708 steps!  Members from many chapters across the country walked in support of National Walking Day. The DMV Links continue to grow in participation with chapters as far away as California taking part. “The DMV Links Team keeps climbing higher each year as we take steps in the right direction for heart health and wellness,” said Michelle Bailey, DMV Links Team Captain-Arlington (VA) Chapter.

Sheehy Auto Stores stepped into second place with an all-time record of 839,518 steps with many of their dealerships participating. Sheehy Ford of Warrenton was once again the winner of their internal step challenge with a total of 118,387 steps. This year the auto dealer also held a National Walking Day photo contest which was won by Sheehy Ford of Gaithersburg.

Tax and compliance software developer, RSI came in third with a whopping 162,661 steps.

In total, all of the amazing #MoveMore supporters counted nearly 4 million steps  – that could take you from the White House to the AHA HQ in Dallas, Texas or roughly 1,776 miles!

“We are so proud of the individuals and companies who participated in National Walking Day,” said Soula Antoniou, Executive Director of the American Heart Association. “Staying active can help you feel, think, sleep and live better and this day is an important reminder. A huge thank you to Sheehy Auto Stores for leading the charge all to move more all year long!”

The Move More Step Challenge is one of the many fun ways to engage in the AHA’s Heart Challenge, a suite of activities that includes the Greater Washington Region Heart Walk, locally sponsored by Sheehy Auto Stores and Kaiser Permanente, and year-round activities like step challenges and more. The Heart Challenge has a goal to get people to move more and raise funds in support of the AHA. Funds raised by the annual campaign lead to medical breakthroughs, support community health priorities, transform healthcare systems, enact stronger public health policy, and much more.

Get involved today at www.GreaterWashingtonHeartWalk.org.