Today, April 3, is National Walking Day 2013. This day, established by the American Heart Association, kicks off a "season" of outdoor activity, especially walking. As the weather has gotten nicer throughout much of Missouri, the snow seems to be gone until later this year and temperatures are on the rise. This provides for optimal conditions to move outdoors. The challenge posed by the American Heart Association through National Walking Day, is for individuals to lace up their sneakers and get outside today to walk for at least 30 minutes.
The American Heart Association also uses National Walking Day as a first step in continuing to move throughout the month of April. From April 1 to April 30, we are all challenged to 'show our moves'. The "Show Us Your Moves" campaign by the American Heart Association allows individuals to demonstrate personal ways they like to engage in physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend in their "Physical Activity for Everyone" guidelines, that adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week (can split into more manageable ten minute chunks) in addition to muscle-strengthening exercises on two or more days per week. If you split up your walking (of moderate-intensity) into three ten-minute increments each day, you only need to walk five days out of the week!
The health benefits from walking are incredible, as seen in this video from Kaiser Permanente:
Maybe the thought of getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise is scary for you. Perhaps the thought of walking thirty minutes in a day is even intimidating. The Missouri Arthritis and Osteopororis Program, through its Regional Arthritis Centers and other local community health organizations, offers a program that may help you get started on the path to regular walking. The Arthritis Foundation's Walk With Ease program can be done in both group and individual settings. For more information on the Walk With Ease program in Missouri, or to find a class near you, please take a look at www.moarthritis.org. Other physical activity and self-management classes in Missouri can also be found on our website.
National Walking Day can be a great motivator to improve the regularity and strength of your individual walking. Use today as a jumping off point to "Show Us Your Moves", to "Walk With Ease", and to work your way up to participating in one of the Arthritis Walks offered in Missouri during May!