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Apr 17

Walking Daily Reduces Risk of Preventable Diseases

Ringgold County Public Health suggests using the town whistle as a daily walking reminder, giving new life to the daily signal. The whistle is one of Iowa’s longest-lived and loudest traditions. Before telephones and other technology, the whistle was used for fire and other town emergencies. Most recently, it signaled the start and end of the workday and lunch break. Now, the whistle could help remind adults to stay healthy by walking daily for 30 minutes at 7:00 a.m., noon or 6:00 p.m.

“Walking every day is the best thing we can do for our health. It’s also the easiest way to stay active,” says Becky Fletchall, RN, Nurse Administrator for Ringgold County Public Health. “The recommended 30 minutes can be broken up into two, 15-minute walks, making it easy to fit into a busy day.” Research shows that regular, brisk walking can reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as jogging. Just 30-minutes of daily walking can help adults maintain a healthy blood pressure, control weight, reduce the risk of diabetes, and manage cholesterol levels.

If you’re worried about how physical activity might affect your health, talk with your doctor before you start. Begin by walking for 5 or 10 minutes every day. After you have made it a habit, walk briskly as long as you can. In most studies of overweight people who increased their walking time little by little, no weight loss occurred until their time exceeded 30 minutes a day.

“Ringgold County is giving priority attention to key risk factors for heart disease and stroke including diet, physical activity, managing a healthy weight, and tobacco use,” states Fletchall. “In addition, we will work to improve the control of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which plays a major role in heart health.”

Ringgold County Public Health invites the community to think about how to make healthy living easier within the organizations you are involved in. To learn more about healthy options for your workplace, visit our resources page and call the Ringgold County Public Health office at 641-464-0691. Stay connected by joining the page, or sign up to receive monthly e-newsletters Subscribe to our newsletter.