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sneaker-web1Countless Michigan residents will lace up their sneakers and walk to commemorate the annual American Heart Association’s National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 6.  To help the southeast Michigan American Heart Association kick-off this iconic day, Detroit Police Chief James Craig and officials from the Detroit Fire Department and EMS will lead a walk at 9 a.m. in front of the Department of Public Safety, located at 1301 Third Avenue in Detroit. The University of Michigan Health System will also lead a series of walks in the Towsley Triangle beginning at 6:30 a.m.


“Studies have suggested that moderate physical activity has many proven benefits for an individual’s overall health, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol and controlling weight,” said Catherine Smith, executive director of the southeast Michigan American Heart Association.  “All these changes help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers,” she added.


And this year, there’s a fun way to participate nationally: everyone who walks on April 6 can “donate” their minutes walked to the association by posting their minutes on social media at #AHALaceUp. All minutes posted there will count toward a national total goal of 100,000 minutes walked. Updates and highlights will be posted all day at #AHALaceUp.


Local events include:

Who: Detroit Police Chief James Craig, First Assistant Chief Lashinda Stair, Commissioner Eric Jones of Detroit Fire Department, Chief Sean Larkins, Detroit EMS, and public safety officials.  This event kicks-off the second phase of the police department’s fitness challenge.


What: Event will kick-off with remarks from Chief James Craig, followed by a warm-up led by  Pierre Vinson of Reshape Detroit and conclude with a walk around the campus.


When: April 6 from 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. in front of the Department of Public Safety, located at 1301 Third Avenue in Detroit


UMHS staff member-led walk, which starts in the Towsley

Triangle and concludes with a cool-down/stretching session back in the Triangle,

led by MHealthy. Fun prizes and incentives will be available.  Walk times are as follows:

6:30 a.m. | 7:15 a.m. | 8:00 a.m. | 11:00 a.m. | 11:45 a.m. | 12:30 p.m.


Broken down into weekly themes, the American Heart Association will kick-off the month-long campaign on National Walking Day to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle by increasing their physical activity routines. Week one focuses on walking and the basic tools you need to get started. Because it’s easy, free and low-risk, walking is the simplest form of exercise you can do and the gateway exercise to other, more vigorous, activities.  Week two and three focus on recreational sports and outdoor family activities, respectively, and week four centers around stress reduction and mindful movement, such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi.


The American Heart Association recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity or a combination of both each week.  Be part of the movement and register for your free toolkit atwww.heart.org/nationalwalkingday. For more information about walking and living a healthy lifestyle, visit: www.heart.org/physicalactivity.

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