Columbia, S.C. – As National Walk @ Lunch Day approaches, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina wants people across the state to start the healthy routine of walking for at least 30 minutes during their lunch breaks.
BlueCross will celebrate the fifth annual National Walk @ Lunch Day on Thursday, April 28, 2011, by encouraging South Carolina companies to hold lunchtime walks for their employees. For those close to the downtown areas of Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and Spartanburg, BlueCross will hold its annual community walks from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. that day.
An estimated 2,200 South Carolinians attended the community walks in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville last year, and more walked at or near their work sites. BlueCross is teaming up with the Mary Black Foundation (www.MaryBlackFoundation.org) to hold the Spartanburg walk for the first time this year.
For many, National Walk @ Lunch Day marks the start of a commitment to walk every day. Research shows that regular moderate exercise, like brisk walks, can have significant health benefits, such as helping individuals manage weight, strengthen muscles, reduce stress, and lower their risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes. Most Americans’ schedules are built around the workday, so lunchtime walks are designed to fit into — not compete with — their daily routines.
“Walking during lunch is an easy way for people to fit exercise into their busy schedules,” said David Pankau, president and CEO of BlueCross. “The process is simple — just take a half-hour walk at lunch. Making it a habit can have a positive impact on an individual’s overall health.”
The community walking events, which are free of charge and open to the public, will be held April 28 at the Statehouse in Columbia; at Marion Square in Charleston; at Falls Park in Greenville; and at Morgan Square in Spartanburg. The events will include walking courses, health and fitness information, entertainment and giveaways.
Those who cannot attend a community event are encouraged to walk near their places of business. BlueCross will provide planning guides and print-ready files for banners, fliers and other promotional materials to help any South Carolina company organize a workplace walk. For more information, call Glenn Niemiec at 803-264-4612.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.