Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Start Walking Day!

From this morning's news roundup at Treasured Valley, I learned that this is National Start Walking Day. And what a lovely day for it, with blue skies, budding trees, and light winds.

According to the news release:

The annual American Heart Association program aims to get people walking for 30 minutes a day, with at least some of that walk time happening during work breaks or lunch.

Exercise physiologist Steve Sanders says regular exercise is a key factor in cardiovascular health.

"Walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, which is the nation's number-one killer - for both men and women - and it helps reduce obesity. You have to make you and your fitness a priority."

Yesterday at lunchtime, I walked the three blocks to my local Albertson's to pick up some groceries. As I stood waiting for the light at Vista and Overland I heard a woman's voice say, "No wonder you're so skinny. You walk everywhere!" It was my next-door neighbor, pulled up at the light. I smiled and rubbed my belly as to say, "Skinny? Me?"

But it's true: I do walk a lot, up to 10,000 steps a day, as experts recommend. I walk for fun. I walk on errands in my neighborhood. At least once a week, I walk downtown instead of driving. That gets me the 10K right there if I walk both ways.

And while I don't feel I am especially skinny at around 140 pounds, this longtime habit - I've had it my whole adult life - helps keep me reasonably fit. So give it a try, if you're not already walking. It's the perfect exercise, and - as gas nudges $3 a gallon again - a good transportation mode, too.

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