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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Walk for the Health of Your Heart

Today is the American Heart Association National Start! Walking Day. "The Start! Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country's No. 1 and No. 3 killers - heart disease and stroke.

Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Start! Heart Walk creates an environment that's fun and rewarding for the entire family.

This year, more than 1 million walkers will participate in over 425 events. Your participation will help us raise even more in our fight to save lives. Walk with friends, family, coworkers or strangers you'll bond with along the way.

Any way you choose to do it, your heart will thank you for it!"

Intro Tips for Early Morning Walkers:

* The night before, get your walking clothes and shoes ready so it’s easy to put them on and head out the door.
* An iPod or other portable music device programmed with up tempo music or set to your favorite radio station can keep you moving at a brisk pace. Just make sure you can still hear traffic.
* Stretch your calves and hamstrings at the end of your walk. Watching a morning news show or check your email while stretching.
* If it’s dark outside, wear clothing with reflective stripes so motorists can see you.

Congratulations! You’re getting your day started right!

Remember Rule #4: Daily Exercise

Intro Tips for Lunchtime Walkers:
* Schedule your lunchtime walk in Outlook or your work calendar. Think of it as an important appointment, which it is!
* If you can, keep everything you’ll need for walking at work. This way you won’t find yourself saying “I forgot my shoes. I can’t go.”
* Recruit a couple work colleagues to join you in the program. You can keep each other on track.
* Depending on your walking pace, the weather, and your tendency to sweat during exercise, you may be able to wear your work clothes and just switch to athletic shoes. Or you may prefer to slip on a t-shirt. In cooler weather, you might need a jacket, hat or gloves. If you’re walking briskly, you’ll heat up after about 10 minutes, so avoid the tendency to overdress. You’ll be MOVING, not sitting in the fresh air!
* Pick a route where you can grab a sandwich at the end of your walk, or make sure you bring a healthy lunch.

Congratulations on fitting in fitness!

Intro Tips for After-Work Workers:
* Have a light snack at about 4pm (for example, a yogurt and handful of almonds, or an apple and 1 oz of cheese) so you don’t experience a late-day dip in energy and talk yourself out of walking.
* Pick an area that’s not heavily trafficked since rush hour can increase air pollutants.
* Walk tall and do some backward shoulder rolls to relieve work stress.
* If it’s dark outside, wear clothing with reflective strips so motorists can see you.

Congratulations on taking care of yourself!

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