Hit the Trails on National Walking Day
Minnesota is made for walkers.
There's Minneapolis's large network of weather-protective skyways connecting 69 full city blocks over 11 miles; downtown St. Paul has a skyway grid, too. There are innumerable lakes and parks with trails weaving around, and over 2,000 miles worth of rail-to-trail paths across the entire state (including one of the longest in the nation, Soo Line Trail, extending 114 miles)—not that you'd walk that far! But you could, if channeling Forrest Gump.
This is all good news for many Minnesotans like me, who sit at a desk all day. Physical inactivity is a growing problem in this digital age, but one we can all take small steps (bah-dum-cha!) to tackle every day.
The American Heart Association reminds us of this through their trumpeting of National Walking Day on April 3, tomorrow!
We already know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. According to AHA, "physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease," and "some adults may gain up to two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous activity. Brisk walking for 30 minutes a day can lower both bad cholesterol (LDL) and high blood pressure."
That's exactly what the AHA is asking on National Start Walking Day: 30 minutes of your time. Get up and walk, and see who you can bring along. (If inspired, their Twin Cities Heart Walk on May 4 is perfect for groups.)
Working in downtown Minneapolis, I see a fair amount of sneakers paired with suits and skirts, so it's certainly not out of the ordinary. A couple of my co-workers already walk during the lunch hour, and many others take the steps to and fro our sixth-floor office. They remind me that healthy living is about good small decisions on a regular basis. It's perfect timing for me to get up and join in!