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Tracking your steps toward a healthier lifestyle is about to get easier in Lancaster thanks to a new public walking path that is set to be unveiled on April 1, National Walking Day. The American Heart Association, with the support of the Lancaster Heart and Vascular Institute of Lancaster General Health and the cooperation of Franklin & Marshall College, will hold a ribbon cutting at Noon at the starting point of the new path at the corner of Race Ave. and Buchanan Ave. in Lancaster. Workplaces in the surrounding area and the general public are invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and be among the first to walk the new path on their lunch breaks in celebration of National Walking Day.
 
“Sometimes we can get lost on our road to better health, but this new official walking path can help motivate you to stay the course,” said Tim Zellers of Lancaster Heart and Vascular Institute. “When you lace up your shoes on April 1, we want every tie to remind you why it’s important for you to stay healthy and active.”
 
The new walking path follows a 1.5 mile loop around the campus of Franklin & Marshall College starting at the corner of Race Ave. and Buchanan Ave., then heading east to College Ave., north to Harrisburg Pike, west to Race Ave., then south to the starting point at Buchannan Ave. Signs marking the route will feature a map to track progress and healthy tips to keep walkers motivated. For more information about the new walking path, call 717-207-4221.
 
The official unveiling of the walking path coincides with National Walking Day, a day on which the American Heart Association encourages Americans to spend at least 30 minutes of their day engaging in one of the simplest forms of physical activity. The American Heart Association works with employers to make National Walking Day a workplace event by allowing employees to wear comfortable clothes and sneakers and participate in group fitness walks. For more information about National Walking Day, toolkits and resources including a four-week walking plan, visit www.heart.org/nationalwalkingday.
 
Physical activity is important for overall wellness, but about 80 percent of adults do not get enough activity to maintain good health. Regular physical activity can contribute toward lowering an individual’s risk for heart disease and stroke, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing or controlling blood pressure, raising “good” HDL cholesterol, reducing risk for diabetes and some types of cancer, better sleep and increased energy. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days per week, or a total of 150 minutes. 
 
For the second year, the Lancaster Heart & Vascular Institute partnered with the American Heart Association as the My Heart. My Life. signature sponsor, supporting activities such the 2014 Lancaster Heart Walk, the planting of American Heart Association Teaching Gardens for the students of Wickersham Elementary and VisionCorps, and the donation of healthy snacks to life skills students at Columbia Junior/Senior High School.
 
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