Walking a 5k distance seems like it would be pretty easy, but it surprised me how much I could really feel my heart and lungs working! According to the American Heart association, research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Improve blood lipid profile
- Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance mental well being
- Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
And the American Heart Association has some of the best ways to get started! I like their easy-to-use guides for where and how to get started walking in your area at http://www.startwalkingnow.org. They have information on how to find walking paths, starting walking clubs, heart trackers, and more! It’s so much easier to get going when a great organization like the American Heart Association already has it put together for you!
One of the reasons that I love the 5k heart walks put on by the American Heart Association is that they are free! It’s such a great way to collect a group of your friends and family and join the community for a good time in an easy-going atmosphere without any pressure. I’ve also found its much easier to stay motivated when you’re with a huge group with the same goals. Even though there is tons of information at the heart walk that is very educational, the atmosphere is more like being at a party! There are great booths to visit, DJs playing music, and of course healthy snacks. I also enjoy meeting the groups that come to support a loved one who was affected by heart disease. It’s really inspiring to see the creative ways that families will create awareness about heart attacks and strokes. For more information about the heart walks, visit http://www.heartwalk.org
This year, I was able to participate at the Heart Walk in Grand Forks where we raised over $19,000 and in Fargo where we raised over $67,000 for heart disease! I worked with my sister queens Madison and Janelle at a fun photo booth, here are some of our photos!
Miss North Dakota International 2014