All across Iowa today, residents young and old are being urged to grab their sneakers, lace them up and get moving toward a healthier and longer life. This is National Walking Day, and Kassi Wessing, communications director for the American Heart Association in Iowa, said making a habit of walking on a regular basis can help relieve depression, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and prevent stroke and heart disease.
“The weather is turning nicer,” she said. “Spring is coming, and it’s kind of time for everybody to come out of hibernation and get those walks in, get those steps in.” While many people will be stepping out on their own or with family members or community groups, Wessing said a growing number of Iowa employers are realizing the importance of healthy workers.
“A healthy employee is a happy and more productive employee,” she said. “They have more motivation, more energy. So we work with a lot of our local companies to host events at their sites to get their employees out walking and moving and do companywide initiatives.”
Wessing said the American Heart Association recommends walking for a half hour a day, five days a week to get in the recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity. More information is online at heart.org.