Today, April 2nd, is National Walking Day, a movement sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) aimed at getting people up and moving throughout the day. The reason couldn’t be more important since one out of every two men and one in every three women are at risk for heart disease, which is still the No. 1 killer in the United States. Walking is a no cost, convenient, and low impact form of exercise and just 30 minutes a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health issues such obesity, stroke and type-2 diabetes. Walking is also a great way to spend time with family and friends and increase people’s involvement in their community.
But did you know that about one in four Missourians do not spend any time being physically active? Unfortunately, for many people, it is difficult to take advantage of walking’s benefits because they live in communities where they do not have safe, easy access to places to walk and be physically active. The benefits of designing and building communities where people of all ages and abilities can get around easily and safely extend beyond improving citizen’s health and well-being. These changes can also improve the physical and economic development of communities. In a recent study of 23 Missouri communities with Livable or Complete Streets policies, community leaders reported increases in bicycling, walking, and trail system use; physical improvements to their community; and greater economic development.
Celebrate your reasons to walk today, and every day, with these tips from the American Heart Association, and learn more about creating walkable communities at http://livablestreets.missouri.edu/