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					                                         OP-ED ARTICLE


                                  National Walk @ Lunch Day®


Busy schedules are one of the greatest challenges prohibiting working adults from getting the
exercise we need. After a full day of work, it’s hard enough to find the time to help our children
with homework after school, and prepare family dinner, let alone find the time and energy to get
back in the car and drive to the gym. Our days are already too full to allow us to get the exercise
we need, and as a result, a majority of us each year just can’t the find time to exercise.
Research reveals that two out of three Americans do not attain the recommended amount of
physical activity necessary to achieve a basic level of fitness.


Workplace and lifestyle changes that diminish the amount of physical activity we get not only
leave us feeling sluggish, they drive up rates of obesity and chronic diseases – and the cost of
all the medical interventions and expensive medications that go with treating them.


As policymakers, corporations, private companies, and nonprofit organizations work to find
solutions for the problems in our healthcare system, we must remember that we all can be part
of the answer. Here’s something we can do that’s good for our own personal health, and the
healthcare system: Commit to a healthier you. That’s right -- making a lifelong commitment to
walking more and eating better are healthy ways we can reduce the risk of costly health
problems down the road; which is good for you and your wallet. In fact, the Department of
Health and Human Services estimates that increasing regular moderate physical activity among
the more than 88 million inactive Americans over the age of 15 might reduce annual healthcare
costs by more than $77 billion.


The third annual National Walk @ Lunch Day on Wednesday, April 28 is a Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Association program for a healthier America, and provides a structured approach to
help Americans set and achieve their own personal goals, and walk their way to better heath.




National Walk @ Lunch Day                                                                    1
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There are a lot of potential benefits to walking every day. They include:
      Increased energy throughout the day;
      Deeper and more satisfying sleep;
      Stronger leg muscles along with healthier bones and joints;
      Less knee pounding than running;
      Toned muscles and lower body fat;
      Higher metabolic rate; and
      Reduced stress and reduced risks for heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, stroke, high
       blood pressure, and osteoporosis just to name a few.

By adopting the walking guidelines of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports,
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans want to help Americans of all ages get their daily dose of
walking and reduce their risk of costly health problems. Working together, we can build a
healthier America. Let’s take that walk together!

Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are independent lic ensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Association.




National Walk @ Lunch Day                                                                    2
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