Analee Gale

Government stepping a different beat for National Heart Week

National Heart Week is upon us, and the government is looking to change the way that we think, and look to change the national condition.

 

 

Right here and now we’re amidst the National Heart Week 2018, which serves as the ideal time for Aussies of all ages and walks of life to recognise and appreciate the essential role that physical activity plays in achieving optimum health and wellbeing.

The Prime Minister’s One Million Steps campaign is one of many ways the Government is working to encourage us all to make healthier decisions. The program began on March 25th, will continue until August 11th and is part of the Healthy Heart Initiative, which aims to increase support for people’s activity levels and healthy lifestyles to prevent chronic disease.

The Minister for Sport, Senator Bridget McKenzie, wants to see “more Australians, more active, more often” and explained that “the Coalition Government has provided $10 million to the Heart Foundation to implement the Prime Minister’s One Million Steps initiative, as well as a physical activity innovation challenge in schools, universities and the general community.

“It is a well-known fact that regular walking is one of the best ways Australians can reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia; build their fitness; and strengthen muscles and bones. It is also free and can be done anywhere. Research shows that if all Australians walked briskly for 15 minutes a day, five days a week, the national chronic disease burden due to physical inactivity would be slashed by 13 percent.”

It appears that the nation may be heeding Minister McKenzie’s advice, as participation during the first month of One Million Steps has been encouraging, with the Heart Foundation Walking app clocking up more than 1.4 billion steps from its users.

“I want to encourage every Australian to download the app, and get out there, get active and get your steps up,” said Minister McKenzie. “Participating in physical activity is also good for your mind. It improves alertness and reduces anxiety and stress, and helps address the symptoms of depression and improves self-confidence.”

Joining the Prime Minister’s One Million Steps is easy and free, and you can participate as an individual or as part of a Heart Foundation walking group. Simply visit www.walking.heartfoundation.org.au or download the new Heart Foundation Walking app via the app store.

 

Analee Gale

Analee Gale is the Food & Health Editor of TBS. Previous to that, she was a freelance writer and editor who has spent so many decades writing about being food and fitness that she sometimes forgets to actually be fit (though she never ever forgets to eat food - hangry is a thing, you know!). Analee made a tree-change from the northern beaches of Sydney, so she now taps out tales from her base in a tiny coastal town in East Gippsland, Victoria.

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