'National Start Walking Day' kicks off today

April 22, 2009 12:24:27 PM PDT
You've heard the expression, walk a mile in someone's shoes. How about walking a mile in your own shoes on your lunch break?[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Today is 'National Start Walking Day,' and to celebrate, many businesses are telling employees to get out of the office and walk for a half an hour on the track at Discovery Green.

We all know how much money you can spend on exercise equipment and diets to try to stay in shape and look younger. But one Houston woman in her 50s says it can be so much easier and cheaper. She's even maintained her high school weight, thanks to a daily walk.

Pamela Mahan-Rudolph is doing laps in a parking garage not because she's lost her car, but because she's found a way to stay fit.

"This works for me. It's not for everyone," she said. "I found something that works."

A few years ago, the busy IT executive and mother of two teenagers found she didn't have time to get to the gym and was paying for a membership she didn't use.

"What happens is you miss a day or you're on vacation or you have a meeting or you're running late and then you don't go," said Mahan-Rudolph.

So she came up with a plan so simple, it couldn't fail. Why not work out at work?

"I was like, what's the least amount of interruption? But I can do it every day," she said.

Every day she leaves her computer, laces up her shoes and heads to the parking garage for a half an hour of brisk walking.

"The day you say you don't want to walk, it's no today I should walk and it's every day," said Mahan-Rudolph.

It is an appointment she never breaks. She even has it on her calendar.

"I don't need the reminder, but it's there to let me know that it's my time," she said.

As part of its 'National Start Walking Day Campaign,' the American Heart Association wants success stories like Pamela's to inspire others to get out and walk just 30 minutes a day for better health. If you're like Pamela, you just might find the fountain of youth in those sneakers.

"I'll be 52 this year," she said.

Brisk walking for 30 minutes a day can also lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk for a number of deadly diseases.

Jose Martinez he will also be at the walk today. Jose weighed 295 pounds just two years ago. His doctor said he was going to have a heart attack or a stroke. So he started walking a mile a day and he lost 115 pounds! Now he walks six miles a day.

He also took his cholesterol down from 280 to 188, and is no longer pre-diabetic.

The 'National Start Walking Day' event kicks off at 11:30am at Discovery Green on 1500 McKinney Street.

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