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Video: Start! Walking America: The American Heart Association's National Start! Walking Day Is April 16
Date:4/15/2008

u can literally start making a big improvement on National Start! Walking Day."

Walking has many proven benefits, and walking briskly for 30 minutes a day can lower both bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and high blood pressure. It also has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise, largely because walking is free and easy to do. Studies show that adults may gain as many as two hours of life expectancy for each hour of regular, vigorous exercise.

Underscoring the importance of a healthy workforce, sedentary careers can raise the risk for a host of medical problems including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face ever-increasing healthcare costs such as $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, several risk factors surrounding coronary heart disease and stroke have been on the rise. Most alarming, the rate of physical inactivity has declined by only 2.5 percent since 1999. Inactivity makes a person 1.5 to 2.4 times more likely to have coronary heart disease. Start! focuses on four key elements to help combat the rising epidemic of inactivity:

MyStart! Online, a free, Web-based fitness and nutrition tracker, is the focal point for a walking program that offers constant, measurable personal improvement.

The Start! Fit-Friendly Companies recognition program officially recognizes employers who champion the health of their employees and work to create a culture of physical activity in the workplace. To be certified as "Fit-Friendly," companies must implement a majority, if not all, of the wellness areas which include physical activity, nutrition and culture.

The Start! Walking Program encourages companies to promote walking at work and recognize and reward employees who move from a sedentary to a more active lifestyle. The program removes the significant barriers of lack of time and place for physical activity for millions of American workers. <
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SOURCE American Heart Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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