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Video: Participants Find New Routes, Routines on National Start! Walking Day
Date:4/7/2009

ancer, 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:

  • MyStart! Online, a free, Web-based fitness and nutrition tracker, is the hub for a walking program that offers constant, measurable personal improvement. The technology allows members of the community to check up on one another and provide support when they need a push or congratulations when they've reached a goal. It also allows members to record distance, map routes, locate nearby walking paths and keep an ongoing log of walks.
  • The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies Recognition Program recognizes employers who champion the health of their employees and work to create a culture of physical activity in the workplace. The program has several key aspects to help companies foster a culture of physical activity and wellness. Nearly 1,000 companies were designated Fit-Friendly in the first two years of the program.
  • The Start! Walking Program has three free, downloadable walking plans for people with varying goals and fitness levels created with experts from the American Council on Exerc
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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