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Thursday
Apr 17th

Want to lose weight? Start walking now

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It may sound simple, but walking is the single most-effective form of exercise to achieve heart health, plus it has the lowest drop-out rate of any activity, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). And, to make it easier for Minnesotans to take that first step, exercise physiologist Jenna Johnson says the AHA is offering tips via a website, www.StartWalkingNow.org. She claims that, almost immediately, people will notice changes if they begin a walking program.

"If people have not been very active, they are going to see some benefits right away. Even the day of the first walk you are going to feel better at the end of the walk. Taking a break at the end, you are going to feel more relaxed, more comfortable, but people will see benefits fairly quickly."

Johnson says the website also has a fitness and nutrition tracker to document calories consumed, along with three customized walking plans featuring videos designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced walkers.

Jennifer Riemenschneider, with the AHA in Minnesota, says the website also addresses common deterrents to walking, such as finding a good place to do it.

"The website can help you find walking paths in your community if you live somewhere that doesn't have sidewalks. You can go online and search the database. Or, if you are traveling somewhere, in a hotel, and want to get some fitness in and maybe they don't have a fitness facility, you can also look at the website and find walking paths in that area."

The website offers other resources to help motivate walkers, including social networking tools to introduce you to other walkers in the area, and tips for walking throughout Minnesota's sometimes extreme seasonal weather changes.

Sharon Rolenc is Producer of Minnesota News Connection

 

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