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Lace Up Tennessee: Wednesday is National Walking Day

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015   

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It's no April Fool's Joke. The American Heart Association is asking Tennesseans to take a step, or steps, towards heart health and go for a walk on Wednesday for National Walking Day.

Patty Clements with the American Heart Association says Volunteer State residents are being asked to come together to walk a collective 18,000 minutes on Wednesday.

"The reason 18,000 minutes is an important number is because we lose 18,000 Tennesseans every year to heart disease and stroke," says Clements. "Walking is one of those activities that can help turn that around."

Tennesseans who want to participate are encouraged to take a heart-healthy walk and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #18KMinutes.

According to the Tennessee Department of Heath, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the state. Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds more than 33 percent of adults in Tennessee are obese, giving the state the fourth-highest obesity rate in the country.

Clements says it's important to remember the benefits of a walk can be cumulative over the course of your day.

"It's easy to do. It's free. All you need are a pair of comfy shoes and a couple minutes to get out," she says. "If you don't have time to do a lot of walking all at once, that's okay because it all adds up. If you do five minutes here, 10 minutes there, that does have benefits for your health."

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week as a way to reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke.


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