Take 5 … 5,000 Steps On National Walking Day

Y News:

  • Y and American Heart Association Host April 5 Event

The Family YMCA will host a free walking event, Take 5 With the Y, 5,000-Steps, in celebration of National Walking Day April 5, which is an American Heart Association health awareness promotion. A knapsack and new water bottle will be given to the first 70 registering for the free 5,000-step walk that starts at noon, April 5, at the Y.

The walk will begin on the sidewalk at the Y, 1450 Iris St., and proceed up Central Ave. to Mesa Library then toward the Senior Center, along Spruce Street, 15th Street, Canyon Road and 4th Street to return to the Y. The course, about 2.5 miles and fairly flat, will take runners about 25 minutes, and walkers about an hour to complete. Participants will receive the giveaways after the walk.

Route maps are available at the Y or online at laymca.org. If people shorten the route or take another route, they may still collect the giveaways as long as they have walked at least 2000 steps. People should call the Y at 505.662.3100 to sign up in advance. Severe weather such as heavy rain or snow will postpone the event until April 12.

The New Mexico Alliance of YMCAs, made up of the YMCA of Central New Mexico, YMCA of El Paso and The Family YMCA of Los Alamos, is hosting the event in each town in partnership with Albuquerque’s American Heart Association. It is supported by a grant from the YMCA of the USA and the Center for Disease Control. 

“Walking is a low-risk and easy way to start exercising,” said American Heart Association Executive Director Terri Archibeque. “It can help keep you fit and reduce your risk of serious diseases, like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.”

She said the Association recommends 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

“Even short 10-minute activity sessions can be added up over the week to reach this goal,” Archibeque said.

The Family YMCA CEO Linda Daly said health benefits from walking are well-known.

“Walking can improve your cholesterol profile, lower blood pressure, increase your energy and stamina, boost bone strength and prevent weight gain.”

Daly said walkers should dress appropriate to the weather, wear sunscreen and bring drinking water. The Y will provide route maps and walkers may proceed at their own pace. 

“We understand if folks need to take a shorter walk and return sooner, they will still get the knapsack and water bottle once they return to the Y,” she said. “The Family YMCA also is looking to start a regular walking club. “Our hope is that we can find a volunteer coordinator, who will host a regular monthly meeting for interested participants and this group can choose different monthly walks.”

“You are considered active,” Daly said, “if you take 10,000 steps a day. This event is meant to be a ‘little step’ to get people on their way.”

About The New Mexico Alliance of YMCAs: The three independent YMCA’s that serve communities in New Mexico partner together to advocate for health and healthy initiatives within the state. As part of a nonprofit organization committed to improving the nation’s health and well-being, the Alliance focuses on promoting youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

The Alliance:

  • YMCA of Central New Mexico, CEO Zizi Fritz, 4901 Indian School Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, phone (505) 265-6971, www.ymcacnm.org. YMCA of Central New Mexico has been listening and responding to the communities’ most critical social needs for 102 years.
  • The Family YMCA, CEO Linda Daly, 1450 Iris Street, Los Alamos, NM 87544, phone (505) 662-3100, www.laymca.org.  The Family YMCA has been serving northern New Mexico for 62 years, and has operated a teen center in Española since 2007.
  • YMCA of El Paso, CEO Bill Coon, 810 Wyoming Ave., El Paso, TX 79902, phone (915) 533-3941, www.elpasoymca.org. This Y has served community needs for 131 years.
  • American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, founded in 1924, fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease. It is a national voluntary health agency. For more information contact Terry Archibeque, Executive Director, 2201 San Pedro NE Bldg. 2, Suite 102, Albuquerque, NM 87110, phone (505) 485-1317.