Thank you to all of the participants and volunteers in AAHPO’s welcome back walk! Through your efforts, we were able to raise vitally-needed funds to help educate and improve the health services for those in need in the global Armenian community. Thank you also to our team sponsors, Dr. Tro Kalayjian , Bedminster Eye and Laser Center, P.A , Englewood Pediatrics (NJ), and The Tooth Doctors for their generous support.

AAHPO Welcome Back Walk
September 26, 2021 | 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Take a Walk to Improve Your Health

Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. Walking can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.

“Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time,” noted AAHPO member Tro Kolayjian, MD, an obesity specialist who is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine.

Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved their fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group.

Walking for fun and fitness isn’t limited to strolling by yourself around local neighborhood streets. There are various clubs, venues and strategies you can use to make walking an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle.

How does walking make me healthier?
You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:

  • increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
    stronger bones and improved balance
  • increased muscle strength and endurance
  • reduced body fat.
Walking is Great for Kids of All Ages

Many parents feel there is no time to exercise as a family. As our kids head back to school, we’re squeezing more than ever into our hectic schedules. But you can work in plenty of physical activity for the whole family — simply by walking more. No other form of exercise is as easy, convenient and inexpensive. All you need is a pair of shoes and the will to get up and move.

The Many Benefits of Walking
“Walking has the lowest dropout rate and the lowest injury rate of any exercise,” notes pediatrician Garbis Baydar, MD, who serves as AAHPO’s Treasurer. “It can help control weight, build healthy muscles, bones, joints and improve your mood. And just walking 30-60 minutes a day will improve anyone’s overall health.”

A healthy exercise regimen and a well-balanced diet are fundamental for a long healthy life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the U.S. Children who are overweight or obese are at risk for developing hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels and other illnesses

“Children today are not as active as were previous generations,” says pediatrician Lynn Cetin, MD, an AAHPO Board Member. “Many of us were allowed more freedom and ran around for much of the day. Today we need to get our children away from the computer and TV screens and do something with them if we want to help keep them fit. A fun and easy way is to take them walking.”

Children will look forward to walking if you make it fun. Playing games as you walk will encourage children to walk greater distances. Play “I Spy.” Have a walking scavenger hunt. Bring along a small bucket to collect “treasures” that children find along the way. Try different moves like giant steps, hopping, skipping, walking backwards – mix it up! Take children to enjoyable walking events like AAHPO’s Welcome Back Walk on Sept. 26 (see below).

Keep Walking Safe
As with any form of exercise, it is important to keep safety in mind:

  • Always stretch before you start walking.
  • Walk on sidewalks or on a track.
  • Walk with friends or family.
  • Drink water before and after you walk. If you will be walking long distances, bring a water bottle along on your walk.
  • Don’t overdo it. Start slowly and gradually increase your distance and speed over time.

Make a regular routine of healthy family dinners, followed by family walks to keep everyone healthy. (And don’t forget the dog!) This combination can help children develop healthy lifestyle habits early that will last a lifetime.