National Walking Day is upon us! Wednesday, April 2nd is a call to action from the American Heart Association (AHA) to adopt a healthier lifestyle. After all, statistics show that one in three women and one in two men are at risk for heart disease. Those are staggering statistics, but ones that can be improved by simply eating more #CLEAN foods, making home-cooked meals, achieving a healthier weight and, you guessed it, being more active. Let’s walk!
One of the greatest things about walking is that you don’t need much to do it, just a comfortable pair of shoes. And, there is no other city more scenic and entertaining for a stroll than New York City! I am always amazed by how many beautiful buildings and well-kept secrets (think hidden gardens) I discover while out for a walk in the city. But of course, having a destination always helps! Tip: Remember approximately six avenues or 20 streets equal one mile.
Walking one mile burns an average of 100 calories, but walking has many more benefits than just calorie burn. A recent study revealed that walkers reduced their risk of heart disease by more than 9%, compared to 4.5% of runners who expended the same amount of energy. In addition to improving heart health, walking:
- Lowers anxiety
- Improves mood
- Reduces the risk of dementia
- Aids sleeping patterns
- Lowers a woman’s stroke risk by one-fifth, new study finds
- Regulates overall blood sugars in adults with pre-diabetes, and helps lower post-meal blood sugars for three hours or more, research found
The AHA suggests getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (i.e. walking) per week. For busy New Yorkers, feel free to divvy up your walking time into 10 or 15-minute segments throughout the week.
Get Your Walk On
Here are a few ideas to increase your walking time:
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Get an exercise buddy
- Take a quick walk on your lunch break. If the weather is not ideal, get on the treadmill at one of our beautiful locations
- Get off the subway one or two stops early and walk
- Make a resolution to see more of the city by foot
- Participate in events that both make you move and are part of a great cause, like the upcoming Wall Street Run and Heart Walk on June 18th!
Visit MyHeartMyLife.org to learn more. Don’t forget to wear your sneakers and enjoy National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 2nd!
Written by Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN
Originally posted on NYHRC Tumblr