DALLAS (April 4, 2016) – Thousands of Americans will lace up their sneakers and walk to commemorate the annual American Heart Association’s National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 6. But the walking doesn’t stop there. Studies have suggested that moderate physical activity has many proven benefits for an individual’s overall health, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol and controlling weight. All these changes help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.

Broken down into weekly themes, the American Heart Association will kick-off a month long campaign on National Walking Day to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle by increasing their physical activity routines. Week one focuses on walking and the basic tools you need to get started. Because it’s easy, free and low-risk, walking is the simplest form of exercise you can do and the gateway exercise to other, more vigorous, activities.  Week two and three focus on recreational sports and outdoor family activities, respectively, and week four centers around stress reduction and mindful movement, such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi.

“Walking is a great way to increase awareness about the importance of physical activity, “ said Robert Eckel, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Past President of the American Heart Association. “And by getting the entire family involved, you can help keep everyone on track to leading a healthier life. Walking can be done at home, at the gym, at work…all you need are comfortable shoes and 30 minutes. Grab your friends and co-workers too. They’ll thank you later!”

The American Heart Association recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity or a combination of both each week.  Be part of the movement and register for your free toolkit at www.heart.org/nationalwalkingday. For more information about walking and living a healthy lifestyle, visit: www.heart.org/physicalactivity.


Media Contact

Barb Bennett, barb.bennett@heart.org, 214-706-1325

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.