Spring is filled with hope of new beginnings and that’s certainly true for the 15 American Heart Association’s BetterU participants. They are about six weeks into the 12-week heart health makeover program, which is being sponsored by White Plains Hospital. And while hope is always a good thing, hard work is what is making a difference in their lives.
The participants kicked off their health efforts on Valentine’s Day, an appropriate day to consider the health of your heart. Since then, they have visited the gym, courtesy of free memberships donated by Will2Lose in Scarsdale, and have been guided by their personal trainers. They have had free health seminars hosted by White Plains Hospital’s health experts. And they’ve found special friendships among the women who have agreed to share their health adventure in a very public way on the BetterU blog.
“BetterU is such a fantastic program! I'm 10 pounds down and feel much better about my health. The program was just the push I needed. More than a push though--the care I needed,” said Pat Eisemann, one of the 15 women chosen for the BetterU program.
The 12-week BetterU program’s goal is to help women make their heart health a priority in their lives and give them the tools and resources to make that happen. Each week focuses on a different aspect of their heart health – blood pressure, exercise, stress, nutrition – all the risk factors that are within their control.
Participants are asked to make healthy choices for 12 weeks, consider their family’s health history and get regular checkups by their doctors, to prevent heart disease – women’s number one killer.
“So many women still don’t know that heart disease is their number one health threat. They need to put their heart health first and take steps—literally—to prevent it,” said Gregory Plage, AHA Executive Director, “We hope this program will show women that health lifestyle choices like regular exercise, a good diet and avoiding tobacco products can help prevent heart disease.”
The AHA states that more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes, like those being made by the BetterU participants.
“I have never put myself first,” said a grateful Eisemann, “Now I can and I do.”
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About the American Heart Association The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.
About Go Red For Women In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an older man’s disease. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women, a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health. Visit www.goredforwomen.org online.