HARRISBURG, Pa., May 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy today joined Keystone State Games, Inc. (KSG) to underscore the importance of the department's WalkWorks program, an initiative to increase physical activity throughout Pennsylvania by creating a network of fun, fact-filled, community-based walking routes and walking groups across the state.
"WalkWorks offers Pennsylvanians the chance to participate in group walks and benefit from the social support and motivation of others in an effort to optimize their own health," said Secretary Murphy. "There are so many benefits to walking, from improving one's physical and mental health to reducing traffic congestion and pollution. This program can enrich the health and quality of life of everyone in our communities."
In its physical activity guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, per week.
Simple changes in a daily routine can result in residents walking more often and getting more benefits out of the steps they take. Little changes, such as taking the stairs, walking to a co-worker's desk, or a 10-minute walk after dinner, can add up to big health benefits, including:
- Controlling weight;
- Improving blood cholesterol levels;
- Preventing and controlling high blood pressure;
- Increasing the efficiency of heart and lungs;
- Preventing bone loss;
- Increasing muscle tone and improving appearance;
- Relieving stress from the workday; and
- Boosting energy level.
There are currently more than 35 WalkWorks walking routes throughout Pennsylvania, including one in the Capitol Complex. Following today's event, Capitol Complex employees, members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and community members participated in an approximate 1.5-mile walk on the Capitol Complex walking route today.
"The Department of Health and KSG are both committed to supporting expansion of physical fitness and sports participation as a disease prevention strategy and offering residents opportunities and access to be physically active to lead a healthy lifestyle at any age," added Secretary Murphy. "Walking is something that many of us can do, no matter what age we are. We encourage each of you to take charge of your health today by taking the first steps if you're a beginner walker and increasing your steps if you're an experienced walker."
For more information regarding WalkWorks' walking routes and maps, visit www.pawalkworks.com.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Yasmin Coleman or Penny Ickes, 717-787-1783
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health