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National Heart Week 29 April 6 May


National Heart Week 2018 is the perfect time for all Australians to reflect on the importance of including physical activity in their daily routine.

The Minister for Sport, Senator Bridget McKenzie, today said it doesn't matter how old or young you are, participating in regular physical activity is good for your general health and wellbeing.

"As Minister for Sport, I want to see more Australians, more active, more often," Minister McKenzie said.

"It is a well-known fact that regular walking is one of the best ways Australians can reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia-build their fitness and strengthen muscles and bones. It is also free and can be done anywhere.

"Research shows that if all Australians walked briskly for 15 minutes a day, five days a week, the national chronic disease burden due to physical inactivity would be slashed by 13 per cent.

"Older Australians in particular can benefit from regular physical activity to maintain physical, social and mental health, prevent falls and enjoy healthy ageing.

"Participating in physical activity is also good for your mind. It improves alertness and reduces anxiety and stress-and helps address the symptoms of depression and improves self-confidence."

Minister McKenzie said the Prime Minister's One Million Steps campaign was one of many ways the Government was working to support Australians to make healthy choices and live healthier lives.

"The Prime Minister's One Million Steps started on 25 March and runs until 11 August. It is part of the Healthy Heart Initiative which aims to increase support for people's activity levels and healthy lifestyles to prevent chronic disease," Minister McKenzie said.

"The Coalition Government has provided $10 million to the Heart Foundation to implement the Prime Minister's One Million Steps initiative as well as a physical activity innovation challenge in schools, universities and the general community.

"Statistics for the first month of the Prime Minister's One Million Steps are very pleasing-with participants that are utilising the new Heart Foundation Walking app accumulating more than 1.4 billion steps.

"I want to encourage every Australian to download the app, and get out there, get active and get your steps up."

Joining the Prime Minister's One Million Steps is easy and free-as an individual or as part of a Heart Foundation walking group - simply visit walking.heartfoundation .org. au or download the new Heart Foundation Walking app via the app store.