In previous years, the American Heart Association® promoted physical activity through National Walking Day, which typically fell the first week in April. Now, the organization has moved into promoting physical activity throughout the month of April with their “Move More” toolkit. This month, take the move more challenge!
Exercising regularly has many benefits. Current recommendations are to get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Walking at a brisk pace is a free and easy way to reach your goals. It’s important to do more than just “count steps”. The benefits really come from getting your heart rate up and pumping. You know you’re at a good pace if you can walk fast enough to still be able to talk, but not sing.
Benefits of being physically active regularly include:
- reduced stress
- improved sleep
- reduced risk of chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers
- controlled weight and body composition
- increased energy
- improved stability and mobility
- reduced physical pain and discomfort
Use this handy tracker to make sure you meet the guidelines this month (and every month!). Small steps lead to big changes.
American Heart Association. 2017. Move More Toolkit. Accessed Mar 28 2017 from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/NationalWalkingDay/National-Walking-Day-Toolkit_UCM_449226_Article.jsp#.WNuw_NIrLct