Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Start Walking Month

Physical inactivity is a huge national problem. Seventy percent of Americans don’t get enough exercise. This is true for many of us right here in this community, which unfortunately puts us at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and other blood vessel diseases. There are lots of benefits to physical activity including reducing the risk of heart disease, weight control, boosting energy levels and helping to manage stress.

To help promote the benefits of physical activity, we invite you all to join the American Heart Association and other companies across the nation for National Start! Walking Day on April 8th, 2009! On this special day, companies across America are encouraging employees to walk for at least 30 minutes. As part of the celebration, Activate Martinsville Henry County (Activate) and Henry County Parks and Recreation Senior Services are jump starting the activities with a Historic Walk in Uptown Martinsville. The walk will take place Monday, April 6th and will begin at the Southern Virginia Artisan Center located on Church Street at 9 a.m. Hear amazing tales that have molded this community into what it is today. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water as the tour will last roughly an hour.

Don’t let the fun end there though - make the pledge to Start! Walking and to become active and heart healthy. Join others across the country and be part of the solution to get America walking.

Before you lace up those sneakers and start your journey to a new you, here are some important safety tips: Find a buddy: Walking with someone can be a great motivator and make the time more enjoyable. Wear reflective gear: If you will be out during the early morning or evening, wear light colored clothing or reflectors. Walk facing the traffic: Especially if there are no sidewalks on your route, the "rules of the road" say you should walk against the traffic. This also keeps you aware of any potential danger coming towards you. Beware of drivers: Do not assume that drivers know when pedestrians have the "right of way." Be especially cautious of driveways- most drivers are watching for oncoming cars, not walkers. What to bring: It is a good idea to carry a cell phone, identification, water and sunscreen.

For questions on how you can safely get active, please call Jeannie Frisco, Activate MHC Program Director, at 276-638-2523 ext 331.

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