No joke: April 1 is National Walking Day

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Celebrate National Walking Day on April 1 by lacing up those tennis shoes and taking a stroll around the block. Don’t forget to bring your friends. Exercise is always better when shared.

BEING808 STAFF

Wednesday is April Fools’ Day. Between goofing around, here’s something else you can celebrate on April 1: National Walking Day.

Let’s face it: Most of us spend our weekdays sitting in front of a screen. We’re becoming less active, which can increase our risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases.

Being active is key to a healthful lifestyle, and walking is appropriate for all fitness levels. Research has shown that every hour of regular exercise can add about two hours to life expectancy, even if you don’t start until midlife. Plus, physical activity can relieve depression, improve your memory, lower your blood pressure and help prevent obesity.

On the flip side, being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are the nation’s leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability. They account for about one of every three deaths each year and more than $300 billion a year in health-related costs including lost productivity.

Adults should get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, and kids should get 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

But 80 percent of Americans don’t make exercise a regular habit, according to an American Heart Association survey.

Why walk? Statistics show that people tend to stick with walking more than other forms of exercise. That’s why the association promotes walking as one of the simplest and most effective ways for everyone to get moving.

How can you get involved in National Walking Day?

• Sign up to participate at heart.org/NationalWalkingDay.

• Promote National Walking Day among colleagues, coworkers, friends and family.

• Put red laces in your workout shoes so that “every tie reminds us why” you’re walking.

• Post a photo of your red laces and join the discussion on social media using #HIWalkDay.

• And finally, simply stand up and walk on Wednesday.

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