April 2, 2014 is National Walking Day, and the American Heart Association is encouraging the nation to get moving and “lace up!”
Walking can often be overlooked when it comes to physical activity, but it really is that easy to receive health benefits. Perhaps the most significant benefit of walking, and the reason AHA is promoting National Walking Day, is the decreased risk of developing heart disease. The American Heart Association identifies heart disease as being “the no. 1 killer of all Americans.” Being inactive can highly increase your risk for developing heart disease, but the good news is it is never too late to start. No matter your age, evidence shows that about an hour of exercise can add about two hours to your life expectancy. You are not only walking for your heart, but for your life!
Red has been chosen as the national symbol of heart disease awareness. If we can walk with our red, as a nation, we can fight together against the leading cause of death in the United States. Walking not only benefits your heart, but also your mood, bones, weight, and balance. The Mayo Clinic suggests to walk with purpose, and they give a number of techniques to do so. It is also important to warm up, cool down, stretch, and stay hydrated.
Walking can be fun! Walk with your friends, dogs, kids, or even your co-workers on your lunch break. Obviously, the more frequent you walk the better. Thus, National Walking Day should be used as an encouragement to increase or keep at your regular physical activity routine. If you don’t have a routine, now is a great time to start!