Photos: UMMC hits the pavement for National Walking DayPublished on Thursday, April 5, 2018UMMC employees took to the streets April 4 to participate in a campus walk as part of the American Heart Association's National Walking Day. The association sponsors the annual event on the first Wednesday in April as a reminder of the health benefits of walking.The fitness walk was also one of a series of events celebrating Public Health Week. The series wraps up Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with healthy food tasting and fitness demonstrations in front of the new School of Medicine. Dr. Joshua Mann, professor and chair of preventive medicine, welcomed everyone to the event. Heather Biddle, group exercise and safety coordinator at University Wellness Centers, warmed up the crowd with some simple exercises in front of University Heart before the group made a lap around campus. Walkers received UMMC "Everday Wellness" t-shirts for participating.According to the AHA, there's no best time of day to walk. Whether morning, noon or night, the AHA urges everyone to get moving for their health. The AHA designates April as "Move More Month" to encourage all Americans to commit to being more active on a regular basis.National Walking Day was started in 2007 as part of the AHA's efforts to promote healthy living. The AHA recommends taking a friend along to pass the time and make 30-minute walks more enjoyable.According to AHA Walking 101 information at www.heart.org, a regular walking program can help improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increase energy, increase stamina, boost bone strength and prevent weight gain. The AHA recommends adults get 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. For more information on the health benefits of walking, visit www.heart.org. Kimberlee King, front left, and Nicole Gilmore, front right, customer service representatives in patient experience, are all smiles during the campus walk. Yvette Galloway, physical facilities program administrator, raises a speaker to help participants hear warm-up music at the start of the event. About 50 employees met outside University Heart just before noon to participate in the walk. Mary Canterbury, director of business operations for the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, warms up with other campus walk participants. Tryanne Owens, a pharmacy quality assurance assistant, warms up with some dance moves. Marion Haley, cardiology care coordinator, and Pamela Keys, senior business analyst in the School of Medicine, lead a pack of walkers. Heather Biddle, group exercise and safety coordinator for University Wellness Centers, walks with Tom Fortner, chief public affairs and communications officer. Brea Cole, front right, manager of the Integrated Wellness Program, walks with Kim Chaney, program administrator in continuing health profession education. Sri Tata, front right, and Donille Drakes, front left, biorepository specialists at the UMMC Cancer Institute, set a good pace. Dr. Joyce Olutade, front left, assistant professor of family medicine and medical director of student/employee health, walks with Dr. Gaarmel Funches, front right, director of community education outreach. Following them are Mary Canterbury, director of business operations for Graduate Studies, and Dorothea Stuarsky, program administrator for Graduate Studies.