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American Heart Association Survey: Romance and Walking a Perfect Match
Date:2/10/2009

DALLAS, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Valentine's Day often includes expensive dinners and fattening candy -- both tough on the wallet and waistline.

But results of a recent American Heart Association survey suggest couples would be better off scheduling romantic -- and heart-healthy -- walks on the beach, in a park and at other scenic spots.

Nearly half of Americans feel most connected with their significant other while on a walk and 93 percent of adults believe that couples that play together stay together, according to the national survey conducted in October 2008 by the American Heart Association.

"Holidays are days when people make exceptions; they go outside their limits either with their budget or with food and drink," said Joy Bauer, a spokesperson for Start!, the American Heart Association's national program that calls on Americans to live longer, heart-healthy lives by walking.

"It is one of the reasons why we love the holidays, but it's also easy to get carried away. Simply scheduling some quiet one-on-one time in a beautiful place can provide more memorable, special moments than elaborate dinners."

The survey also revealed ideal locales for romantic walks. Walks along the beach, specifically Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, are considered to be the most romantic places to walk, followed by the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas and Central Park in New York.

The American Heart Association champions walking because it has the lowest dropout rate out of any physical activity, and it can be done anywhere at any time. Studies have shown that walking can help reduce stress, provide more energy and enhance mental well-being. Other research shows that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day can reduce your risk of coronary disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, help maintain body weight and lower your risk of obesity, and also reduce the risk of osteoporosis, breast and color cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise you do, such as very brisk walking, some adults may gain two more hours of life expectancy, according to another study.

Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY(R) Restaurants, Healthy Choice(R) and AstraZeneca. For more information, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.heart.org/start.

About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim nearly 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2007-2008, the association invested nearly $560 million in research, professional and public education, and advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.


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SOURCE American Heart Association
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