National Walking Day

This video is about National Walking Day

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Photos by Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Melissa Eppley, front, and Sonja VanBuskirk take a lunchtime walk Wednesday on the concourse at Parkview Field. They didn’t know Wednesday was National Walking Day, but they were taking advantage of the nice weather to exercise.

Heart-healthy habit puts spring in steps downtown

Brian Schackow, left, and Brad Shank take a lunch time run past Allen County Public Library.

Melissa Eppley was unaware of the significance of lacing up her sneakers Wednesday.

It was National Walking Day, a spring kickoff by the American Heart Association to get people active.

“I didn’t know,” Eppley said, while keeping pace with her Grand Wayne Center co-worker as the pair covered the concourse area at Parkview Field.

“It’s just good to be out today and get away from the desk a little bit.”

Eppley, a 30-year-old sales manager, fits the workplace profile of many people, based on Heart Association research. Sedentary work has increased 83 percent in the nation since 1950. That translates to just 1 in 4 people working in physically active jobs.

Health-wise, walking – along with proper diet – can help ward off factors that lead to heart disease. In fact, the association says walking is the single most effective form of exercise in achieving heart health. For every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy increases by two hours in some adults.

Ryan Johnson is communications director for the association’s Midwest regional office in Chicago. He says walking remains the least intimidating of exercises, and the group hopes that characteristic promotes the activity.

“Walking is a way of getting back into the groove after the winter,” Johnson said. “You don’t have to have access to a gym or anything like that.”

Dr. Daniel Simmonds of Fort Wayne also was strolling at Parkview Field on Wednesday. He says that with the attention given to obesity and the need for physical fitness over the years, physicians almost don’t need to mention it to patients.

“There’s just so much out there,” Simmonds said. “People know what they should be doing.”

Yeah, we know, but …

“It can be hard,” said Kay Schory, a 60-year-old customer relations manager at Lincoln Financial. “It’s better when you have someone to walk with.”

Schory and co-worker Deb Maynard quickly did their laps at Parkview’s concourse area Wednesday as well.

“It just clears your head, and it’s always good to get some fresh air,” said Maynard, 62. “It builds stamina.”

Fort Wayne TinCaps employees Brian Schackow and Brad Shank ran downtown near the Allen County Public Library.

“We run whenever we can,” Schackow said. “It’s been a long winter, so it’s nice to be out now.”