Walking day.JPGSince 2007, the American Heart Association has recognized the first Wednesday in April as National Walking Day.

Today, a few local organizations are holding an event to help raise awareness in their community.

According to the AHA, 69 percent of adults are considered obese, and folks at Oglebay, Wheeling Park and Wheeling Hospital are trying to change that.

“Well today is all about teaching the community about the prevention of heart disease,” said Dr. Jim Comerci of Wheeling Hospital.

The day was designed to promote a healthier lifestyle, as heart disease continues to be a growing issue.

“It’s one of the leading causes of illness in our society. It’s really at the top,” Comerci said.

In conjunction with Wheeling Park and Oglebay, Wheeling Hospital sponsored a series of five walks throughout the two locations on Wednesday.

Comerci says walking benefits you both physically and psychologically.

“If you do a little brisk walk you start to excercise your heart muscle, and we need to excersise arms and legs as well as the heart muscle,” Comerici said. “Being outside, being in nature, time to kind of slow down (and) think a little bit about what’s going on.”

Mike Potts, the director of facilities at Oglebay, says there is no better place for a stroll than the Oglebay Gardens.

“It’s a perfect setting for a walk,” he said. “I mean, Oglebay, the gardens area, we’re doing the walk through the gardens area, which, the gardens are beautiful. The tulips are just now starting to bloom, and what better place to walk than your local park.”

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