Step it UP! info

Posted at: 02/27/2013 4:54 PM

Mayor Richard J. Berry and Dr. Barry Ramo of the New Mexico Heart Institute, and Art Gardenswartz encourage residents to get healthy one step at a time.  Area residents are encouraged to join the challenge to get fit by registering at then picking-up a pedometer at a local community center to participate in the city's first Step it UP! Albuquerque walk this Saturday.  The monthly walks will be held at 12 locations citywide.  This Saturday's Walk with the Mayor kick-off will take place at the Balloon Fiesta Park at 9:00 am.  Subsequent walks will be held on the first Saturday of each month at a city park to be announced, also at 9:00am.

In Albuquerque we are lucky to have a wonderful climate with 310 days of sunshine a year and beautiful landscapes.  From the mountains to the Bosque; from the volcanoes to the valleys, we have great trail systems and wonderful places to get healthy.  But for many the task of getting healthy can seem like an overwhelming challenge to get started on a healthier lifestyle. 

"We are so busy that it seems difficult to make time for our own health and wellness.  Because we are constantly bombarded with quick fixes and overly complicated diet and exercise programs, it is easy to just give up on the prospect of a healthier you," said Mayor Berry. "The good news is - that is all about to change in Albuquerque. The better news is that we are going to do it together and we are going to have fun and make new friends in the process!"

Dr. Barry Ramo of the New Mexico Heart Institute and Art Gardenswartz are leading the charge.  Given the overwhelming number of individuals facing obesity and diabetes Ramo and Gardenswartz were eager to get involved.  "Speaking as a cardiologist, once I can get someone engaged in exercise it makes all the difference in the world.  Simple moderate exercise like taking just a few more steps every day can really help," said Ramo. 

A recent study that will be published in the journal, Population Health Management shows that eating unhealthily is linked with a 66 percent increased risk of loss of productivity, while rare exercise is linked with a 50 percent increased risk of low productivity.   "I couldn't agree more.  As a business owner I know firsthand that when you have healthy employees, you have a better business.  Healthcare costs go down and productivity goes up," said Gardenswartz.

Businesses and individuals are encouraged to login to and get fit.  Corporate participants can help by funding $10 per employee.  The $10 contribution will provide employees with Step it UP! Albuquerque pedometers and associated literature, and help fund the community wide initiative.  Contributions directly to Step it UP! Albuquerque are also welcome to help with overall funding of the initiative.  Businesses are encouraged to help promote their efforts in Step it UP! Albuquerque by offering special deals at their place of business.  Perhaps discounts for low calorie meals, walking shoes, memberships or other healthy alternatives for those who come in with Step it UP! Albuquerque pedometers.