As fall weather approaches in West Michigan, it’s one of the best times of year for outdoor fitness. There is a crispness in the air, the landscape is changing and a lot of the humidity leaves the region.
The American Heart Association reminds us that research has shown that every hour of regular exercise can add about two hours to life expectancy, even if you don’t start until midlife.
How much exercise should you get? Whether it’s walking, running, biking, swimming, playing sports or doing yoga, the goal is for adults to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of both). Kids should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
How you achieve your goal is up to you: 30-minutes five times a week, 50-minutes three times a week, or just 22-minutes every day. You’ll experience benefits even if you divide your daily time into two or three blocks of 10 to 15-minutes each.
Kim Powell of Supply Chain Solutions and a member of the Grand Rapids Heart Walk’s Executive Leadership Team, shared a thought for those who don’t currently work fitness into their daily lifestyle.
“Each day is a new day to start being active, eat healthfully and care for oneself,” said Powell who enjoys many forms of activity. “My goal in being healthy is to care for the one body I’ve been given. I find being balanced and realistic is important to maintaining any quest for health and wellness,”
Powell’s activity is an example of the American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good Movement. Healthy for Good can inspire you to create lasting change in your health and your life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well.
Even if you’re already active, here are some easy ways you can add more steps into your day:
- Grab the leash and take the dog out for a walk.
- Walk the kids to the park or playground.
- Forget about rock star parking. Park a bit farther from the entrance to your workplace, school, grocery store, restaurants, etc.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator, even if just for one or two floors.
- Walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch or dinner instead of driving.
- Catch up with a friend by walking around the block while you chat on the phone.
You can practice move more at the Grand Rapids Heart Walk on its new date and time, Thursday, September 26 at Millennium Park. With the grounds opening to activities at 4 p.m., vendors will be on site with demonstrations like Goat Yoga and Puppy Yoga! You are also welcome to bring your own picnic to the venue ahead of the Heart Walk. Cardiovascular disease survivors from across the state will be honored and there will be kid’s activities, a pet zone, music and more! This is a family and pet-friendly event.
The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s mission — building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke — in action. Held annually, the walk celebrates those who have made lifestyle changes in an effort to improve their heart health, and encourages others to take the pledge to live healthier lifestyles, while raising the funding needed for life-saving research and education.
To learn more about the event and register, visit GrandRapidsHeartWalk.org.
What: Grand Rapids Heart Walk
When: Thursday, September 26 at 4 p.m.
Where: Millennium Park, 1415 Maynard Ave SW