by Mary Wright, RN, health educator at North End Waterfront Health
Wednesday April 1, 2015 is the American Heart Association’s “National Walking Day.”
Heart disease is the number one killer in the US. Introducing more physical activity into your life is one way to lower your risk of heart disease. Your goal should be to get 30 minutes of physical activity at least five times per week (about 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise).
Walking is a great way to reach your goal. It is low-risk and easy to start. It can help keep you fit and reduce your risk of serious diseases, like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. Short 10 minute activity sessions are an easy way to begin. All you need to start a walking program are comfortable clothes and shoes.
Here are some easy ways to incorporate walking into your daily routine are:
- Take the stairs.
- Have walking meetings.
- Get up from your desk every hour and walk.
- Don’t use the drive-thru — park and walk into bank or to get coffee.
- Walk while on your phone.
A regular walking program can:
- Improve your cholesterol.
- Lower your blood pressure.
- Lift your mood.
- Increase your energy.
- Prevent weight gain.
- Increase bone strength.
- Improve balance and coordination.