Utahns encouraged to walk 30 minutes today


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utahns are being encouraged to wear or at least bring sneakers to work today. It's part of the American Heart Association's fifth annual National Start Walking Day.

The association says the workplace has proven to be a good place to foster physical activity. But it can also go the other way. The AHA says Utahns also are working longer hours and their jobs have become more sedentary.

Benefits of walking
  • Walking 30 minutes a day can improve circulation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and promote weight loss.

  • It's possible to gain 2 hours of life expectancy for every 1 hour of regular, vigorous exercise, like brisk walking.

Now the association is trying to reverse that.

"For every hour that you exercise, you gain in essence two hours of life expectancy," said local AHA board member Nicholas Hintze.

He said 70 percent of American adults report being told by a healthcare professional to make a lifestyle change, and 33 percent were told they need to exercise more. Walking is the simplest way to start some sort of aerobic exercise, he said.

He told KSL walking has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise, and just 30 minutes of walking a day can improve health. Today people are being asked to incorporate 30 minutes of walking into their day.

The Heart Association is working on a smart phone app that will give information on local safe and free walking paths.

E-mail: mgiauque@ksl.com

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Marc Giauque

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