National Walking Week targets obesity

By Lorne Fultonberg

April 3, 2013 Updated Apr 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) The weather didn't exactly cooperate Wednesday for National Walking Day, the American Heart Association's attempt to fight back against a condition that now affects one-third of American adults.

But that shouldn't have prevented local residents from lacing up.

Local businesses asked their employees to wear their sneakers to work Wednesday. The AHA encouraged people to get out and get active -- an easy way to fight the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

"Thirty minutes a day five days a week is something that everybody can get into their day," said Gina Chapman,director of the Southern Tier American Heart Association. "Walking is a very easy exercise, it's easy on your body, it's completely affordable, it's something that we felt we could enforce and motivate the community that's involved."

This year marks the fourth the AHA has dedicated a day to walking. It falls on the first Wednesday in April.

At Lourdes Hospital, employees don't even need to leave the building to get in a good walk.

"We created the walking trail in Lourdes so that they could take a 10-minute walk, 15-minute walk and to keep them going and active," said Toni Lehr, director of Occupational Health Services at Lourdes. "So, a person can get out and walk on their break or on their lunchtime. We want them out and moving."

The half-mile trail spans multiple floors and is marked by small signs that can be moved to modify the route.

The American Heart Association is continuing its campaign on Instagram through the month of April. The AHA is asking people to submit photos of their favorite physical activities and brand them with #mymoves.