American Heart Association Programs

American Heart Association Heart Walk
American Heart Association Heart Walk. Charley Gallay/WireImage/Getty

The American Heart Association wants you to start walking now. They have basic information on starting a personal walking program, tips on finding or creating a walking club. The AHA hosts the Heart Walk and Virtual Heart Walk to enjoy a fundraising event. Walking is a great activity to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke or to manage your condition.

Discuss any exercise program with your doctor before you start if you have a health condition.

National Walking Day

National Walking Day is celebrated on the first Wednesday of April each year. Companies can sign up and promote healthy living by getting their employees out for a 30-minute walk on this date.

American Heart Association Heart Walks

Hundreds of American Heart Association Heart Walks are held as fundraising events throughout the USA to benefit the American Heart Association. They may be called a Heart Walk or a Heart and Stroke Walk. The walks are held on various dates in each locale. Walkers earn prizes based on how much money they raise. The walks generally are of a 5K (3 miles) distance and also often have a shorter Survivor route of one mile.

First, use the Heart Walk site to locate an event near you. Next, register as an individual, join an existing team, or start a team. You can log in with your usual social media identification or create a unique one. You can share why you are walking, which is used to customize your fundraising page. Set a donation goal and make a personal gift to get your fundraising started. Now you will have a personal donation page where you can direct people to come to support you on your fundraising walk.

Donors can come to your personal page and make a donation via credit card online or print out a donation form to mail in. This way the fundraising is done upfront, and you don't need to return to donors to request funds after the walk.

Virtual Heart Walk

If there is no convenient event, you can sign up for the Virtual Heart Walk and join a team, create a team or do it as an individual. The AHA has a toolkit to use for emailing potential donors and creating excitement about your virtual walk.

About the Start Walking Now Program

The American Heart Association's Start Walking Now program was discontinued on September 30, 2015. They say they should have new tools available sometime in 2016 that will be more mobile-oriented and able to be accessed by more devices. The reason given for discontinuing the trackers were that they were based on old website technology that could no longer be supported. They recommend signing up for their Healthy Living E-news email newsletter where they will announce the replacement program or apps.

The Start Walking Now program had many tools to encourage you to walk for 30 minutes or more a day to reduce your health risks. It was sponsored by the American Heart Association. You could join for free and use the MyStart Tracker to can map and log your walks and track your eating with an online food diary. This program began as the Start! program in 2008. It was discontinued in 2015 but a replacement is promised.

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