Choose to be Active Today! Healthy Main Street Martinsburg Walks

Choose to be Active Today!  

Healthy Main Street Martinsburg Walks

By Dana M. DeJarnett, MS, Health Promotion Specialist, Berkeley Medical Center

A lot of times it takes an adversity or health scare for someone to finally decide to make healthier choices. Why wait for a heart attack or health scare to make a commitment to being healthy and feeling better?

There is never a bad time to become physically active. If you are feeling healthy or are dealing with a chronic health condition, being physically active can help you maintain good health or feel better and manage illness.

Two recent studies bring home the message that being physically active is beneficial for all. Physical activity can reduce the risk of early death, heart disease and cancer. Exercise can improve blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and improve circulation even in those overweight.

In the first study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that a brisk 20 minute walk each day could be enough to reduce the risk of early death. The study of 334,000 European women and men found that twice as many deaths may be attributed to lack of physical activity compared to deaths due to obesity. Twenty minute walk a day can reduce risk of premature death 16-30%. A twenty minute walk is the equivalent of burning about 100 calories.

The second study is from the National Cancer Institute. This study found that leisure time activity is associated with longer life expectancy regardless of bodyweight. The recommended amount of leisure time physical activity is 2.5 hours a week of moderate intensity physical activity or 1.25 hours of vigorous activity a week. Moderate activity is defined as being able to talk while exercise but not sing.

Those who met the recommendations for moderate leisure time activity lived 3.4 years longer. Those who did two times the recommended amount lived 4.2 years longer. Even those who did half the recommended amount saw 1.8 years of life span gain. The recommended amount of physical activity is associated with extended life expectancy in all groups – normal weight, overweight and obese.

Don’t underestimate the benefit of being physically active. Even moderate amounts can add years to your life.  Your goal isn’t just to add years to your life but life to your years. Exercise has many health benefits and contributes to the quality of life to live longer and healthier.

Healthy Berkeley:  It’s Up to Us offers planning Main Street Walks. Join others in Martinsburg getting active and healthy!  Group walks are held Mondays @ 7:30am, Thursdays @ 12noon and Fridays @ 4:30pm.  Just meet at the town square.  For more information go to the Healthy Berkeley facebook page,

Healthy Berkeley: It’s Up to Us is a community collaboration between University Healthcare, The Wellness Center @ Berkeley Medical Center, Main Street Martinsburg, Catholic Charities Promise House Family Resource Center, the Berkeley County Health Department, WVU Extension and community volunteers. If you would like more information about Healthy Berkeley or are interested in getting involved, please contact Dana M. DeJarnett at 304-264-1287, ext 31814 or email or Emily Gilmore @ 304-267-8837, ext 1006  or email


Main Street Martinsburg Walks has proven to be the perfect opportunity for dad/daughter duo Gary Elfritz and Samantha Allison (forefront) to spend time together while benefitting from a healthy stroll.  Country, a four legged friend, led the group this particular day as they started the walk around town.

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Posted by on Jun 23 2015. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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