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National Start! Walking Day



  Wednesday, April 7, is National Start! Walking Day, which the American Heart Association (AHA) organized to encourage Americans to walk at least 30 minutes a day to become healthier.

  The AHA reports two-thirds of Louisiana adults are overweight, and walking is a free, easy way to reduce risk factors for heart disease. The group says the activity has the lowest dropout rate of any type of exercise. The campaign also encourages corporations to promote wellness in their workplaces.

  The AHA has set up a Web site, www.startwalkingnow.org, that offers free tools for a walking campaign, including a fitness and nutrition tracker, locations of walking paths, a tool to help find support from other walkers, customized walking plans with videos and a downloadable seasonal walking guide as well as tips on how to develop and maintain a walking program.

Light and the Brain

  Health and wellness design expert Deborah Burnett is the guest speaker at the EnCourage support group meeting from from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. April 14 at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery (1717 St. Charles Ave.).

  Burnett will discuss how the lighting and design in your workplace and home can affect your sleep, brain, health and emotions. Research shows that light and room temperature have a big effect on the body and brain, including links to rising breast cancer rates, weight gain and neurological stress, says Burnett, who specializes in design and research into how color, artificial light, sound and daylight affect sleep. She will discuss how people can make simple changes in the spaces where they spend time to make their quality of sleep better and increase their productivity and performance as well as improve immune systems and brain function.

  The lecture is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Call 899-2800 or email encourage@breastcenter.com to reserve a seat.

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