National Start! Walking Day Rallies Set at UTHSC

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Spring has sprung and it’s time for Memphis to get moving! Residents are encouraged to walk for 30 minutes on April 7 as part of National Start! Walking Day. Memphis-area employees will celebrate National Start!

Spring has sprung and it’s time for Memphis to get moving! Residents are encouraged to walk for 30 minutes on April 7 as part of National Start! Walking Day. Memphis-area employees at Intermodal Cartage, Ring Companies and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center will celebrate National Start! Walking Day by kicking off their walks with rallies.

From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Intermodal Cartage is inviting all of its employees and their families to walk on the company’s walking trail located at 5707 E. Holmes Rd., while Ring will commemorate the day with a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Ring Get Healthy! Walking Path at 10 a.m. Ring is located at One Industrial Park Rd., in Oakland, Tenn.

In the Memphis Medical Center, the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) will host a rally and walk for its employees and students at 11 a.m. in Forrest Park. The Health Science Center event will feature Kathy Kastan, heart attack survivor and author of From the Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Living Well with Heart Disease. Kastan, a Cordova resident, will share her story of survival and triumph over heart disease.

Start! is the American Heart Association’s national initiative that champions walking because it has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity. Workplaces have proven to be important environments to foster a culture for exercise as Americans now work 164 more hours per year than 20 years ago, and jobs have become increasingly sedentary.

In January 2010, the American Heart Association defined the seven key factors to ideal cardiovascular health. Physical activity is one of those factors, but only 15 percent of American adults achieve the association’s recommended levels of moderate aerobic exercise (150 or more minutes per week). The Start! initiative encourages all Americans to get started on a regular walking program as a way to achieve their physical activity goals and to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 30 percent.

“At UT Health Science Center, we focus on preventive medicine and maintaining wellness as well as on research and finding cures for disease,” stated Steve J. Schwab, MD, interim chancellor for UTHSC. “We are pleased to support National Start! Walking Day and we encourage all our employees and all of Memphis to join this healthy initiative.”

“Walking has been proven to reduce health risks, improve the quality of life, and save lives,” observed Guy L. Reed, MD, chair and Diggs Alumni Professor in the Department of Medicine, UTHSC College of Medicine. A trained cardiologist, Dr. Reed said, “Walking lowers blood pressure, facilitates weight loss and reduces the risk of stroke, heart attacks, cancer and hip fractures. The benefits that accrue from walking just 30 minutes a day, or from engaging in similar types of regular exercise, can make a significant difference in a person’s cardiovascular health.”

About Start!

Start! makes sticking to a walking plan easier than ever with FREE tools at startwalkingnow.org, including:

Three customized walking programs (beginner, intermediate and advanced);

Online tracking tools to document calories consumed, steps taken and routes walked;

Sole-mates social networking capabilities to find and support like-minded walkers;

A grocery list builder and heart-healthy recipes;

Downloadable seasonal walking guides with tips to maintain a routine regardless of weather;

Start! walking videos, produced in collaboration with ExerciseTV, making an at-home workout easier with tips and motivation;

Start! social media daily walking guide with daily walking guides, inspirational messages, heart-health tip of the day, video content from Exercise TV, community chat capability and a private journal; and

Start! is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY® Restaurants. For more information, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit startwalkingnow.org.

About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, we’re the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases