Hundreds of studies have shown the benefits of walking but a new study released shows that older adults are most likely to do it and to make it their resolution for this year. The American Heart Association's Start! initiative is introducing the “Start! Daily Walking Guide,” a FREE social media application that can get more Americans active and help them keep their health and physical activity resolutions.
Users get started with a quiz that generates 12 weeks worth of customized walking plans, a private journal section that lets users record their walks and reference archived exercises, and keep motivated with daily inspirational messages and heart-health tips.
Members can also chat with virtual "sole-mates" via the Start! Connections function. A previous Start! study revealed that American adults are 76 percent more likely to take a walk if another person is counting on them.
Heart disease and stroke are America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, despite being largely preventable though a healthy lifestyle. Cardiovascular disease claims nearly 865,000 lives a year and physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease. Physically active people reduce their cardiovascular disease risk by 30 percent. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, like brisk walking, each week. So, start walking with your friends today!
Also available on the site:
- Customized walking programs for beginner, intermediate and advanced walkers;
- Online tracking tools to document calories consumed, steps taken and walking routes;
- Sole-mates social networking capabilities to find and support like-minded walkers;
- A grocery list builder and archives of heart-healthy recipes;
- Downloadable seasonal walking guides with tips to maintain a routine regardless of the weather; and
- Start! walking videos, produced in collaboration with Exercise TV, making an at-home workout easier with tips and motivation.