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Recap of Walking Day in Utah

Guest Blogger: Marc Watterson, Utah Government Relations Director

On April 2nd, 2014, people from across the nation gathered together for National Walking Day – a day set aside each year by the American Heart Association|American Stroke Association to encourage Americans to get active for their heart health.

Here in Utah this day was celebrated at various businesses, hospitals, stroke rehab centers, and government offices. Governor Gary Herbert recently declared April 2, 2014 as “Walking Day in Utah” where he joined with the American Heart Association “to encourage all our residents, both young and old, to increase our physical activity by starting to walk regularly, and fight against heart disease and stroke by reducing our risk for cardiovascular diseases.”

Additionally, the Summit County Council recently passed a Proclamation in support of National Walking Day. Based on the fact that “50 percent of adults and 62 percent of children do not engage in daily vigorous physical activity,” the County Councilmembers reached out to all County Employees and encouraged them to go for a 30 minute walk at some point during the day.  Turnout was great as countless county employees to the streets for a brief walk.  The hope is that all of those that participated will not only recognize the need for their own daily exercise routine, but share that message with their family and friends as we aim for a healthier state and community.

Whether it is the choice to go to the gym instead of watching a show, or picking the healthier snack instead of the late afternoon donut, all of us have the opportunity to take little steps towards living a healthier life. I hope this Walking Day has sparked your interest to develop a daily workout routine that works for you.  If you are bored of doing the same workout, please click here to see new walking paths in your area.

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Start Walking Today!

Guest blogger: Nicole Olmstead, Arizona Government Relations Director

In most parts of the US, the weather is starting to warm up and thaw, but lucky for us Arizonans, we have absolutely wonderful weather conditions on most days.  Seize the day and get out and enjoy our gorgeous weather!

In case you missed it, National Walking Day was April 2, 2014. On this day, we encouraged all Arizonans to lace up their sneakers and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk.  This was a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and also a wonderful way to get family, friends and co-workers started on the way to a healthier life.

Even though National Walking Day has passed by, we still encourage you to take some time out of every day to walk and be physically active. Lack of physical activity is one of the major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.  The America Heart Association has even developed a website and an app that can help you find walking paths near wherever you are.  Check it out here.

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Share Your Story: Erica Ralston

Erica Ralston, Business Development Director, California

My Grandfather passed away at the age of 40 after three heart attacks. My mom was 11 and I was not in the picture. But his absence in my life has already been felt. I know it is genetic for my family. I do my best every day to make the choices that will keep me around for my grandkids. And I make it my mission to tell others that this disease does not discriminate. It affects individuals of all ages and genders. Take your health into your hands today. It is all you have.

If we all work together to advocate for healthier options in vending machines, improved nutrition & physical education in schools and access to bike paths and walking paths, we would be on a great path to a heart healthy community.

Don’t know how to get started with a heart healthy lifestyle change? A great way to start is with others just like you. The American Heart Association’s Start Training program is a half marathon training program designed to help non-active and low activity individuals to train and complete a half marathon. Hundreds have completed the program successfully and keep coming back every year. Through Start Training, you get the professional support needed to train and make walking (or running) become a part of your lifestyle. Click here to learn more about the program and find a program in your area.

I hope you will join me on a walking path this winter as I walk toward a healthier future for my family… and yours.

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