DALLAS, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- From Los Angeles to New York, thousands will set off on a new path to fitness tomorrow.
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It's part of the American Heart Association's National Start! Walking Day, when people from all walks of life will trek 30 minutes on paths that cities across the country deem "walker friendly."
The American Heart Association has also collaborated with the American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's leading fitness authority, to develop walking plans for people at various ability levels who want a physical activity routine. The free, downloadable plans and a list of walking paths in various cities are available at startwalkingnow.org
Start! is an American Heart Association program that promotes walking as an activity because it's accessible, free and has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise.
"Start! is excellent because of its simple message - walk to improve your health," said Joy Bauer, national spokesperson for Start! and one of the nation's leading fitness and nutrition authorities. "Start! is a realistic way to stay physically active and dramatically lower health risks. I am thrilled to be a part of this movement and encourage everyone to get out there and walk."
A person is 1.5 to 2.4 times more likely to have coronary heart disease if he or she is inactive. But walking vigorously for 30 minutes a day, or at least 2 1/2 hours a week, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and reduces chances of breast and colon cancer, the association said. Adults also may gain as many as two hours of life expectancy for each hour of regular, vigorous exercise, such as brisk walking.
Furthermore, studies reveal that American jobs have become more sedentary and that employees are working 164 more hours per year than they were 20 years ago.
"With over 66 percent of Americans considered overweight and obese and nearly 70 percent of the population not engaging in regular light to moderate physical activity five times a week or vigorous activity three or more times per week, we realized there was a dire need to incorporate more walking into people's daily routines," said Timothy Gardner, M.D., American Heart Association president. "Just a few extra steps each day is a simple and easy way to take an active role in maintaining a significantly healthier life."
There are four key elements of the Start! program:
Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY(R) Restaurants, Healthy Choice(R) and AstraZeneca. For more information, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit startwalkingnow.org.
About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, we're the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases - America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers - we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.
|SOURCE American Heart Association|
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