CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The American Heart Association and the Elk River Trail Foundation partnered with local leaders this week to bring the CDC’s “Active People, Health Nation” initiative to the Mountain State.

According to the American Heart Association, the Mayors Kay Summers of Clendenin, J.D. Hoover of Sutton, Josh Shamblin of Clay, and Richie Roach of Gassaway came together at the Dundon Trail Head in Clay County on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to sign a proclamation supporting activity-friendly communities. The mayors were joined by Julie Warden, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association and Ken Tawney, President of the Elk River Trail Foundation.

According to the AHA, the “Active People, Healthy Nation” initiative was created by the CDC to help 27 million Americans “become more physically active” by 2027. The Association says the goal is to help Americans improve their health and quality of life because studies show increased physical activity can lower the risk of at least 20 chronic diseases and conditions.

“Walking is one of the simplest, yet most effective exercises anyone can do. Just 30 minutes a day can help lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, and help people lose weight,” AHA officials say.

Officials say building active and walkable communities also supports local economies, reduces air pollution and creates a more cohesive community.

“A primary mission at the Elk River Trail Foundation is to preserve, protect and enhance the Elk river rail and water trails for community health and well-being,” Tawney said. “We are excited to work with the American Heart Association and town leaders to encourage our communities to get active, especially along the Elk River Trail.

To learn more about the “Active People, Healthy Nation” initiative or the Elk River Trail, visit their websites.