National Walk to Work Day

It’s National Walk to Work Day!

The American Heart Association’s National Walking Day was on April 1, but the first Friday of April was declared National Walk to Work Day in 2004 by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Walk@Lunch Day is April 29th.

This means that if you start on National Walking Day and keep it up till Walk@Lunch Day, you could develop the habit of walking by the end of the month!

Is walking a worthwhile habit to develop?

The American Heart Association lists these benefits for walking 30 minutes a day:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Improve blood lipid profile
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
  • Enhance mental well being
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

Harvard Medical School reports three studies conducted at Harvard that showed impressive health results for walking:

  • A study of 10,269 male graduates of Harvard College, found that walking at least nine miles a week was linked to a 22% lower death rate.
    A study of  44,452 male health professionals found that walking at least 30 minutes a day was linked to an 18% lower risk of coronary artery disease.
    A study of 72,488 female health professionals found that, walking at least three hours a week (about 42 minutes a day) was linked to a 35% lower risk of heart attack and cardiac death and a 34% lower risk of stroke.

Walking regularly is a great way to stay fit and healthy, but walking offers other advantages as well. If you start walking to work or to school or to the grocery store, you can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted. Walking not only helps keep you healthy, but the environment healthy as well. Plus, by walking instead of driving, you can save money at the gas pump.

You don’t necessarily have to start walking to work everyday, but you should try to walk at least 30 minutes a day. So go ahead and start the habit by taking part in National Walk to Work Day.