To Your Health: Take steps today toward a healthier life
BY THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION April 1, 2014 9:14AM
Wednesday is the American Heart Association's National Walking Day. | Supplied photo
Updated: May 3, 2014 6:15AM
The American Heart Association is encouraging residents in the Chicago area to take steps toward a healthier lifestyle by taking a walk Wednesday, National Walking Day.
National Walking Day is the American Heart Association’s nationwide call to action for Americans to get more physically active. Chicagoans are invited to lace up their sneakers and take at least 30 minutes today to get out and walk.
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. While physical activity is critical to good health, fewer than 50 percent of adults get enough daily exercise. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to see the health benefits of physical activity, which include lower blood pressure, improved bone health, better sleep and more energy.
The workplace can play a key role in health and wellness. Americans work 164 more hours a year than two decades ago, and sedentary jobs have increased 83 percent since 1950. Health problems cost corporate America nearly $226 billion annually in productivity losses.
On National Walking Day, companies across the country are allowing employees to wear sneakers to work to go for a walk. Americans also are encouraged to take a walk with family members, friends and neighbors after work hours.
In Chicago, ArcelorMittal is supporting National Walking Day by hosting walking events near local plant sites and providing healthy living resources for employees.
“According to the American Heart Association, walking is the single most effective form of exercise with one of the lowest dropout rates. National Walking Day is the perfect time to start incorporating a brisk walk into your daily routine to achieve better heart health,” said Andy Harshaw, executive vice president of operations at ArcelorMittal USA.
“ArcelorMittal is proud to walk side by side with the American Heart Association to support National Walking Day and encourage more Americans to improve their cardiovascular health.”
For more information on National Walking Day and a free downloadable tool kit with health tips and resources to host a walking event at your workplace or in your community, visit www.StartWalkingNow.org.
About the American
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke — America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. 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 (800) 242-8721, visit heart.org or call our local Chicago office at (312) 346-4675.