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Community , Community Projects , Healthy Living

Every Step Counts on Your Journey to Better Health

Since 1924, the American Heart Association has been fighting heart disease and stroke and helping people to live longer, healthier lives. Our local AHA shares ways that you can stay healthy, get involved and help raise awareness right here in NEPA.

Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Make a Big Difference

As the vice-chair of Geisinger Health Board of Directors and former executive vice president/chief financial officer at Gentex Corporation, I have been an advocate for women, education and health care my entire career. The American Heart Association combines all three in the Go Red for Women movement, which is designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. This is why I decided to co-chair the 2022 Go Red for Women Celebration on May 12 along with Megan Brosious, chief administrative officer for the central region at Geisinger Health.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women. A large majority of these deaths could be prevented through better lifestyle choices. It is critical that we spread awareness because one woman is too many to lose.

The benefits of regular physical activity are undeniable. I committed to increasing my activity many years ago and am a dedicated “fast walker.”

Walking is one of the simplest ways to get active and stay active. With each step you take, you travel further down the path to a healthier lifestyle.

Research has shown that walking can have a significant impact on your health by lowering your chances of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends adults should try for at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate intensity activity. Thirty minutes of brisk walking on at least five days a week is one way to meet this goal.

Women often put everyone else first. We need to educate ourselves and spread the word that it is important to prioritize your health. The American Heart Association defines Life’s Simple 7 as the seven risk factors people can improve through lifestyle changes to help achieve ideal cardiovascular health:

  1. Manage blood pressure
  2. Control cholesterol
  3. Reduce blood sugar
  4. Get active
  5. Eat better
  6. Lose weight
  7. Stop smoking

These measures have three things in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. This simple, seven-step list has been developed to deliver on the hope we all have – to live a long, productive, healthy life.

Make a commitment to become educated and take steps to better health today. The American Heart Association has the tools and resources to help get you on the right track. You can also learn more about the Go Red for Women movement and the Northeast PA Celebration on May 12 at heart.org/northeastpagored.

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