Apr 3, 2012
National Start! Tomorrow
The American Heart Association’s (AHA) National Start! Walking Day on Wednesday, April 4, is a nationwide call-to-action for Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
According to the AHA, heart disease is the nation’s No. 1 killer. The risk is double due to physical inactivity. In addition, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health that says a brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the genetic influence towards obesity, measured by differences in BMI by half. BMI or Body Mass Index is a screening tool used to help determine a healthy weight range.
Walking is the easiest and least expensive way to reduce that risk.
You are encouraged to wear sneakers or good walking shoes to work and take 15 to 30 minutes out of your day to get up and walk. It's a great way to get started this spring in a lifelong habit that will reap many benefits.
Swing your arms in natural opposition to your feet.
Lead with your chest, chin parallel to the ground.
Avoid extra-long steps. They overwork the calf muscles and could cause knee injury.
To work harder, walk uphill at intervals. Lean into inclines and look upward.
To increase intensity or speed, increase stride rate, not stride length.