Walking Clubs Offer Senior Citizens a Simple, Free Way to Better Health, Fitness
American Heart Association adds another national program to promote walking as most effective physical activity
Jan. 17, 2012 - Regular walking, a favorite exercise for senior citizens, is one of the most effective forms of physical
activity that delivers substantial health benefits and improves heart health, says the American Heart Association. The latest addition to
their tools for persuading people to exercise or Walking Clubs, which are quickly being formed in communities across the U.S.
Walking is also easy to start and continue and it has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity. By joining or
forming an American Heart Association Walking Club you can connect with others who share your goals, lifestyles, schedules and hobbies – and
do it all free. Walgreens is the national sponsor.
An American Heart Association study revealed that American adults are 76 percent more likely to take a walk if another
person is counting on them.
In contrast, research shows 45 percent of gym members will quit going to the gym in a given year and 30 percent will
cancel their membership. Gym fees per member average about $765.40 a year.
“I encourage our patients to engage in regular exercise, including moderate-to-vigorous intensity walking programs, and
the American Heart Association’s new Walking Clubs are a great resource,” said Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D., Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation
and Exercise Laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
“The accountability and camaraderie Walking Clubs provide will help those that struggle with a regular exercise
commitment. Numerous studies have now identified a sedentary lifestyle and/or a low level of fitness as independent risk factors for
Accordingly, for many people, Walking Clubs may provide a safe and effective lifestyle intervention to prevent heart disease
Joining an existing Walking Club
or forming your own is easy:
Sign-up by filling out the online form and select which you’d like to do:
1.Start a Club: Serve as an organizer, mentor and motivator for your American Heart
Association Walking Club. You'll be responsible for setting up your group and helping spread the word in your community about the
benefits of walking. Checking this box doesn't limit your options – you can join a club at any time too.
2.Join a Club: Join scheduled walks with others, set goals and celebrate
accomplishments. Sign up now and search for a group based on location or similar interests. Checking this box doesn't limit your
options – you can start a club at any time too.
According to an American Heart Association survey, only 15 percent of American adults achieve the association’s
recommended level of moderate aerobic exercise, which is 150 minutes per week.
AHA Also Offers Heart Walk and National Start Walking Day
The long popular National Start Walking Day for 2012, part of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk program, will
be on April 4, 2012.
Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event for
raising funds to save lives from this country's No. 1 and No. 3 killers - heart disease and stroke.
Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that's fun and
rewarding for the entire family.
Heart Walk also has organizations around country that join together to promote local walking for health and exercise. It
is expected that more than one million of these walkers will join 350 events in U.S. communities.
National Start! Walking Day Celebrate your health on National Start! Walking Day by stepping away from your desk and getting some exercise! It's the first
Wednesday each April.
As part of the My Heart. My Life. healthy living initiative with multiple solutions from the American Heart Association,
Walking Clubs encourage Americans to take up walking. Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day will improve circulation, lower cholesterol
and blood pressure, and promote weight loss.
Also, for every hour of regular, vigorous physical activity, like brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some
adults by two hours.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association says it is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. "We team with
millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to
prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting
heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit
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