National Start! Walking Day Resources

The American Heart Association is offering a free toolkit for any company or organization that would like to participate in its National Start! Walking Day on Wednesday, April 7. This annual event, held on the first Wednesday in April, celebrates physical activity and encourages all Americans to wear their sneakers to work and take a 30-minute walk. The goal is to encourage area residents to begin or celebrate a regular walking habit.

This is the first time that the association has made the toolkit available so widely.
National Start! sponsor Subway Restaurants and local Start! sponsors PHP and Parkview Health join the American Heart Association in encouraging individuals and companies to celebrate National Start! Walking Day by incorporating a healthy activity into the day.

Although any activity is encouraged that day, the Start! movement focuses on walking as an activity because it’s accessible, free and has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise. Americans are working an astonishing 164 more hours per year than 20 years ago and more of the nation’s workforce is in sedentary occupations, which leads to physical inactivity and greater risk for heart disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease and stroke continue to be the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers.

The National Start Walking Day toolkit is available at www.startwalkingnow.org/startwalkingday. Once registered, companies and organizations have access to a simple how-to guide filled with fun tips for making the day more special. This kit includes e-mail and voicemail templates, a brown-bag lunch presentation, and a 6-week summer walking countdown – with sample walking plans, recipes, daily tips and other tools that the coordinator can use after NS!WD to extend the messaging to help their employees get healthy for summer!

If you are planning on hosting a National Start! Walking Day event at your company, the American Heart Association would love to hear about it. Send an email with details about your Start! Walking Day event to Wendy King at wendy.king@heart.org and your company name will be listed on the American Heart Association’s local website.

For more information on Start! visit americanheart.org/start or call 260.437.9034 for additional details.

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