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Local Participants Selected for Lifestyle Change Health Challenge | Events

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Local Participants Selected for Lifestyle Change Health Challenge
Events, Health, People
Local Participants Selected for Lifestyle Change Health Challenge

For the first time in the Buffalo region, the American Heart Association will conduct the Lifestyle Change Challenge, an innovative initiative that will chronicle the journey toward meaningful lifestyle changes that improves heart health for nine local participants. The 12-week Challenge, sponsored by Leading Edge Performance and Independent Nursing Care, is designed to remind us all to make simple lifestyle choices every day that will have a significant impact on our overall cardiovascular health.


The selected participants for the Challenge were introduced at a kick-off event at Body Blocks Fitness of Williamsville this morning. Using the American Heart Association’s My Life Check heart disease assessment tool, the groups’ collective heart score was 6.5/10 which indicates the group has some significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease that needs improvement. Their stories will be chronicled in blogs, at www.buffaloniagaraheartwalk.org and in local media. Their success will be celebrated at the 20th anniversary of Heart Walk on September 13, 2014.


"We were delighted to have so many applicants for the program. The stories of our neighbors really create a broad picture of the health and life challenges we face," said Marie Achkar, American Heart Association volunteer coach. "I know they will be an inspiration to us all throughout the 12 weeks."


Each participant will receive an individualized walking plan, a baseline medical evaluation from Independent Nursing Care, pedometers, healthy cooking resources, breakfast with a doctor, bi-weekly coaching sessions, smoking cessation help if needed, and other value-added opportunities. Each participant will be invited to their own Facebook community, have the opportunity to join a walking club, take a food shopping field trip, and write about their progress on the local American Heart Association blog to chronicle their journey.


"We invite the community to access the tools and resources that are available from the American Heart Association to receive the same great heart-health information, expert tips, recipes, and customized activity trackers and plans at www.startwalkingnow.org," said Dr. Glenna Bett, American Heart Association advisory board president. "Our goal is to make heart health a priority for Western New Yorkers.”


Heart disease is the leading killer of Western New Yorkers and all Americans. However, research shows that 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable with simple lifestyle choices involving diet, exercise and smoking.


The Lifestyle Change Challenge 12-week program and officially begins April 7th  and runs through June 27th at which point participants will be fundraising and getting their teams together for the 20th anniversary of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk this fall. Follow their progress online at http://wnyheartstroke.wordpress.com and on Twitter @WNYHeart.

Events, Health, People

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