April is Move More Month according to the American Heart Association. During the month of April they are reminding us all about the potential health benefits of walking! The American Heart Association established Move More Month as a way to encourage individual people, schools, workplaces and communities to walk at least 30 minutes per day and 'take a step' toward better health! Research has been done that  shows walking can improve people’s overall health by helping maintain a healthy weight, prevent and manage conditions like heart disease and diabetes, strengthen bones, help ward off depression, and improve coordination and balance.

To help make walking benefit you, the American Heart Association has put together the acronym FIT which stands for:

  • Frequency - The goal should be 500 steps within seven minutes at least six times a day
  • Intensity - Aiming for 3,000 steps within 30 minutes at least one per day
  • Tenacity - Making a goal of at least 10,000 total steps every day.

To help encourage everyone to be FIT, UnitedHealthcare has launched the Step Up for Better Health initiative, which is a national initiative encouraging walking to support Boys & Girls Clubs.

You can sign the Step Up for Better Health Pledge at www.uhcwalkingmaps.com, which is a website that provides more information about the health benefits of walking and offers 10,000-step walking routes in more than 50 major cities!  UnitedHealthcare will even donate a total of $25,000 on behalf of the first 25,000 people to sign the pledge to Boys & Girls Clubs to help fight childhood obesity. People entering Step Up for Better Health will also be entered to win walking related prizes, like an Apple Watch. How cool! I took the pledge myself, which includes trying to hit 10,000 steps every day, take the stairs more often, explore my town on foot, and improve my overall fitness level. You can take the pledge with me here! 

I've already started exploring more of St. Cloud!