Americans are spending more time at work and sitting 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.
Being physically active is important to 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, physical activity can relieve depression, improve your memory, lower your blood pressure and help prevent obesity.
April 6 is the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day, and we want people to lace up for their heart and get moving. Whether it’s walking, running, biking, playing sports or taking a yoga class, 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), while kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
Thirty minutes a day, five times a week, is an easy goal to remember. You’ll experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.
So, grab your sneakers, lace up and get moving toward a healthier heart!
Calls to Action:
- Sign up to participate in National Walking Day (as an individual, school or company), and take 30 minutes on April 6 to get up and walk. (www.heart.org/nationalwalkingday)
- Join the national celebration on social media using #AHALaceUp.
- Use National Walking Day to kick off a month-long focus on being more active and creating healthy habits and engaging your colleagues, friends and family members in the Saturday, May 14thMetro Detroit Heart Walk!
Physical Activity Facts:
- Sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950, and physically active jobs now make up less than 20% of our workforce, down from 50% in 1960.
- Our average workweek is longer. Full-time workers in the US work about 47 hours each week – that’s more than 350 extra hours worked each year.
- Adult (and childhood) obesity/overweight level continues to increase: 69% of all adults are obese or overweight.
- One in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963, and childhood obesity is now the top health concern among parents in the United States.
- Half of all adults and more than 60% of children do not get daily vigorous physical activity.
- About one in three adults report participating in no leisure time physical activity.