SALT LAKE CITY – Friends and coworkers will gather to hit the pavement today in observance of the American Heart Association’s “National Walking Day,” and Mother Nature is cooperating with most spots in Utah for what’s looking to be the best day of the week, weather-wise.
The goal is to get people moving, in recognition that they’re spending more time at work mostly sitting. AHA cardiologist Dr. Tracy Stevens said it only takes 30 minutes a day to get on the road to better health.
“We’ve got that concept, either we’ve got to be some star athlete or we’re a couch potato,” she said. “We can’t see that anything in between is very good, too.”
Stevens advised walking 30 minutes a day, six days a week. While some think running is the best way to get fit, she said, the benefits aren’t much greater but the injury risks are.
Within the first few minutes of walking, Stevens said, the body releases beneficial hormones.
“Hormones that dilate our blood vessels, and with that, our blood pressure drops,” she said. “We burn calories, we help maintain our weight, and we know it reduces one’s risk for diabetes.”
The AHA reports that one in two men and one in three women are at risk for heart disease, and research shows that poor lifestyle choices are major contributors.
More information on National Walking Day is online at <a href=”http://www.heart.org/nationalwalkingday” target=”parent”>heart.org/nationalwalkingday</a>.