Start Walking for Your Heart!

Deanne Stein Health Guide
  • The New Year is a clean slate for most people. It’s a time when people make those resolutions to be better at this or that. New goals are set and often fail, but I believe people have the best of intentions when they decide to make a new year’s resolution.

    I’ve even made a couple of resolutions myself. I’m determined to save more money and step up my workouts. Of course, I’m not off to a great start. I haven’t been to the gym yet and with the holiday bills coming in, I haven’t been able to put much back.

    I decided its better to make small goals every day instead of one big yearlong goal. For instance, this week I was covering an event and was offered a piece of chocolate cake. I love cake but knew I really didn’t need it. I planned on eating a big dinner that night, so opted not to have the cake. I didn’t feel deprived. I actually felt good and proud of self-control.
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    Then the other day I was about to go to my favorite sandwich shop. Then, I remembered I just bought deli meat and bread at the store. So, instead of stopping and spending six bucks, I went home for lunch and made my own sandwich. I figure these small goals are more attainable and I feel like I’m making progress.

    Since working out and getting in shape is a popular New Year’s resolution, what better time for the American Heart Association to launch it’s Start! Movement.

    Heart disease and stroke claim 870,000 lives each year. 140 million people, 66 percent of Americans, are overweight. It doesn’t help that a large portion of the nation’s workforce is in occupations that don’t allow very much physical activity, which leads to an even greater risk for heart disease and stroke.

    Start! is a movement to help Americans improve their health by walking. In fact, award-winning actress Jane Seymour has joined the American Heart Association in launching the movement. “I want to do my part to help get America in shape and eating better.

    Start! Is a great way for busy Americans to find the time to make a real change for the better in their lives. In fact, adults gain two hours of life expectancy for each hour of regular exercise, even if they don’t begin exercising until middle age,” Seymour said.

    Doctors agree walking is good for us. They say regular walking has many proven benefits for overall health. Brisk walking for 30 minutes a day can lower both bad cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. It can also help people who are overweight maintain weight loss and reduce their risk of stroke.

    Start! encourages corporations and the workforce to promote physical fitness. The movement focuses on walking as an activity because it’s accessible, free and has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise. Our television station has taken on this effort to help its employees. About a year ago, my station offered everyone free memberships to a local gym.

    I hope more employers realize the importance of promoting physical fitness. But even if your employer hasn’t helped you get moving, walking can be done anywhere. You don’t need a gym membership to move. You can walk in your neighborhood or park. And on bad weather days, many people take a walk inside a mall. I’ve even walked up and down the stairs at work a few times when I felt like I needed a little pick me up. The main thing is to just get up a move.

  • Learn about Start! here.
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Published On: January 16, 2007