(Cape Girardeau, MO) -- Hundreds of area residents are expected to take steps to improve their heart health this February 9 when they participate in the American Heart Association's Heart Walk at the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau.
The annual event, which raises funds to fight heart disease and stroke, America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers, begins at 8 a.m.
The non-competitive, two-mile walk includes teams of employees from local companies, groups and families.
"Teams have been fundraising for months to help the American Heart Association build healthier lives free from cardiovascular disease and stroke. The American Heart Association is so thankful to all the area contributors. Saturday is sure to be inspirational," shared Beth Walker, Corporate Events Director with the American Heart Association.
The Heart Walk is designed to help participants understand the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle in prevention of cardiovascular disease. The event also honors survivors of heart disease, stroke, bypass surgery, heart procedures and even the youngest congenital heart defect survivors.
Local Signature sponsor, Saint Francis Medical Center as well as many other event sponsors will feature fun and educational activities for walk participants. Booth activities will be between 8 and 9:00 a.m. and include screenings, health education, giveaways, survivor recognition and much more.
The American Heart Association encourages everyone to join in the celebration. Survivors of a heart attack, stroke, by-pass surgery, congenital heart defect or any other heart procedure receive complimentary red caps to wear during the event. Families are encouraged to come and walk in honor of their loved ones touched by heart disease.
Each day, nearly 2,400 Americans die from a cardiovascular disease. That's an average of one death every 37 seconds. 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 one hour of regular, vigorous exercise they do.
"We want people to know that it is never too late to start a healthier lifestyle," said Dr. Duc Nguyen, Heart Walk Event Co-Chair and Cardiologist with Cape Cardiology Group. "Our hope is that the Heart Walk will help jump start a culture of physical activity and healthy lifestyles among participants and increase passion for supporting the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association."
Anyone in the region is invited to attend the Heart Walk. The event starts at 8 a.m., opening ceremonies at 9:00 a.m. and a 2 mile walk at 9:30 a.m. No pre-registration needed and the event is free. Donations can be made at the event. For more information or to donate visit www.capeheartwalk.org or call 618-983-3234.