On April 6, countless numbers of New Jerseyans will lace up their sneakers and walk to commemorate the annual American Heart Association’s National Walking Day.
This year, there’s a fun way to participate nationally: everyone who walks on April 6 can “donate” their minutes walked to the American Heart Association by posting their minutes on social media at #AHALaceUp. All minutes posted there will count toward a national total goal of 100,000 minutes walked. Updates and highlights will be posted all day at #AHALaceUp.
Studies have suggested that moderate physical activity has many proven benefits for an individual’s overall health, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol and controlling weight. All these changes help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.
“Just 30 minutes of walking can go a long way towards a heart-healthy lifestyle,” states Travis Sample (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and Evan Williams (National Strength & Conditioning Association), co-owners of S.A.M.P.L.E. Fitness, a mobile fitness company that advocates traditional and alternative ways to incorporate fitness into busy schedules located in Bergen County. “National Walking Day is a great time to lace up your sneakers and start a new healthy habit.”
Broken down into weekly themes, the American Heart Association will kick-off the month-long campaign on National Walking Day to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle by increasing their physical activity routines. Week one focuses on walking and the basic tools you need to get started. Because it’s easy, free and low-risk, walking is the simplest form of exercise you can do and the gateway exercise to other, more vigorous, activities. Week two and three focus on recreational sports and outdoor family activities, respectively, and week four centers around stress reduction and mindful movement, such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity or a combination of both each week. Be part of the movement and register for your free toolkit at www.heart.org/nationalwalkingday. For more information about walking and living a healthy lifestyle, visit: www.heart.org/physicalactivity. For more information about National Walking Day in New Jersey, visit: www.heart.org/newjersey.