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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Heart Walk on the move


Event seeks to improve health, raise awareness and funds

Several hundred participants are expected to lace up and take steps to improve their heart health Saturday,

April 6, when they participate in the 2019 Northwest Louisiana 3.1-mile/5K and onemile optional walk/run on the campus of LSU-Shreveport. This non-competitive event includes teams of employees from local businesses, hospitals and industries along with friends and family members of all ages. Walkers can bring their dogs on a leash to walk as well.

The annual event, which raises funds to fight heart disease and stroke, America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers, begins at 8 a.m. with a pre-event activity area; walk/ run begins at 9 a.m.

Jill Lucero, who recently became the NWLA regional director for the American Heart Association, stated her goal is to have 500 walkers this year, a significant increase from past years. To accomplish this, she needs community involvement from not only Shreveport, Bossier City, but surrounding communities such as Vivian, Oil City, Blanchard, Greenwood, Benton, Mansfield, Minden, Plain Dealing and Arcadia. Lucero is encouraging individuals to register for the walk, but is also looking for companies to register and build teams. She wants to increase the number of participants from previous years because this is a time to celebrate survivors of stroke, heart attack, cardiac arrest and all others who have been affected by cardiovascular disease. The walk will also help raise awareness about staying active, eating healthy and taking better care of our hearts.

Each day, about 2,150 Americans die from heart disease from cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer in the United States. Stroke, the No. 5 killer and a leading cause of severe disability, claims the lives of nearly 219,000 each year. A leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke is lack of physical activity. Research has also found that individuals may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercising they do. Nearly one in three children and adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese. This event will raise awareness about heart disease and get the children and in our community moving.

“While we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Heart Walk, the event is still focused on its initial assignment: funding groundbreaking research through the passion of walking together to change lives,” said Lucero. “I am honored to serve and play a role in the promise of a better future for younger generations to live.”

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Heart Walk. Since the inception of the Heart Walk in 1993, mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke have plummeted by 45 percent. Each walker and each donation have helped to transform health statistics into lives saved, but there is more work to be done.

Since 1980 the American Heart Association has granted over $8 million to fund research in NWLA, most of which has been at given to research projects at LSU- Health Science Center.

For more information or to register, visit: www.nwlaheartwalk.org, or download the mobile APP by searching HeartWalk in Google APP store or iStore.


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