National Walking Day is just around the corner—did you know that just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Americans are spending more time sitting – at work, school or in front of a screen – than ever before. We're becoming less active, which can increase our risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases.
This April the American Heart Association is encouraging Americans to get Healthy For Good™ by being more physically active. Our National Walking Day celebration has been expanded to a monthlong initiative as part of our Healthy For Good movement. The movement is designed to inspire lasting change through small, simple steps in four key areas: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well.
Whether it’s walking, running, biking, swimming, playing sports or doing yoga, the goal is for adults to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of both). Kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. How you achieve your goal is up to you. Thirty minutes five times a week, 50 minutes three times a week, or just 22 minutes every day. You’ll experience benefits even if you divide your daily time into two or three blocks of 10 to 15 minutes each. Little steps will lead to big gains!
Being physically active on a regular basis is important to promote overall health and prevent heart disease and stroke, which are responsible for more deaths in the U.S. than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease is the leading cause of death and stroke is the leading preventable cause of disability.
Research has shown that every hour of regular exercise can add about two hours to life expectancy, even if you don’t start until midlife. Plus, regular physical activity can help relieve depression, manage stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve sleep and prevent weight gain.
Calls to Action
- This April, commit to move more as an individual, family, community, school or company. Get your free toolkit of resources at heart.org/MoveMoreToolkit.
- Hold an event (30-minute fun walk, educational event, fitness fair, etc.) and/or four-week activity challenge to support a monthlong focus on being more active and creating healthy habits.
- Join the national movement at heart.org/HealthyForGood and contribute to the conversation on social media using #HealthyForGood.
Physical Activity Facts
- About two in three American adults and one in three American children are overweight or obese — and this number continues to grow.
- Only about 22 percent of American adults meet the federal physical activity recommendations for aerobic and strengthening activity.
- About one in three adults participates in NO leisure time physical activity at all.
- Worldwide, physical inactivity (35%) is now more prevalent than smoking (26%) and is responsible for more deaths.
Share the news with these sample social media posts:
- April 1: National Walking Day is April 5. Get involved and begin to move more this month. Sign up for your FREE toolkit and get #HealthyForGood: www.heart.org/MoveMoreToolkit
- April 3: April 5 is National Walking Day. (Company name) employees will walk for 30 minutes to be #HealthyForGood
- Being #HealthyForGood can be as easy as taking a walk. https://healthyforgood.heart.org/Move-more