Dozens of teams and hundreds of individuals walked for their hearts and to raise funds at the American Heart Association (AHA) at the annual Dutchess Heart Walk on Saturday, March 24th at Marist College. The Heart Walk event is the American Heart Association’s biggest annual fund raiser and awareness event locally, and it promotes healthier lifestyles as a way to prevent the number one and five killers—heart disease and stroke. Online donations are being accepted at www.dutchessulsterheartwalk.org.
According to the AHA, walking briskly daily and at events like the Heart Walk, can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running. Adults need 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week for heart health. Kids need 60 minutes daily.
Pleasant Valley resident, Alexandra Scimeca was honored as the 2018 Heart Walk Honoree to help raise awareness and funds to fight heart disease, including congenital heart defects like the one she was born with. She had heart surgery the day before her 4th birthday. Thanks to early detection, Alexandra was able to go on with her life. She is now a happy, healthy 13-year old.
“I am thankful for my doctors and what they have given me the chance to have a long, happy and healthy life,” she said. Her Heart Walk team is called “Alex’s Angels.”
While genetics and family history are hard at escape for many, the majority of heart disease is preventable with lifestyle changes. The Heart Walk is part of the AHA’s Healthy For Good movement designed to help Americans create lasting change in their health and life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. Healthy For Good encourages healthier eating, including colorful fruits and vegetables, exercising 30 minutes daily, and focusing on whole body wellness including reducing stress and getting enough sleep. Learn more at healthyforgood.heart.org.
Events like the Heart Walk fund the AHA’s critical research and awareness programs that help save lives from cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke – the number one and five killers in the U.S. The AHA’s funding for pediatric cardiac research is second only to the federal government. Thanks to AHA advocacy, a 2013 law was passed in New York State to ensure that every baby born receives pulse-oximetry testing, which can help identify heart defects immediately after birth. AHA programs in schools help children to create healthy habits while they’re young. The AHA also creates guidelines for, and trains parents, caregivers, and medical professionals in infant and child CPR. www.heart.org/CPR.
For more information on supporting the American Heart Association’s mission, contact Danielle Schuka, Event Director, at the American Heart Association at (845) 867-5379 or by email Danielle.Schuka@heart.org.
The Heart Walk Presenting Sponsors are Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, The Heart Center, Laerdal, and the David Ping Group. Media sponsors include Townsquare Media, Now 97.7, Southern Dutchess News and Hudson Valley Magazine. #HVheartwalk