(September 4, 2013 Norfolk, VA) — More than 3,000 South Hampton Roads area residents are expected to join the South Hampton Roads Heart Walk on Saturday, September 21st to raise funds to fight heart disease and stroke, America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. The annual event begins at 9:00am at Mt. Trashmore City Park in Virginia Beach. The non-competitive, three-mile walk includes teams of employees from local companies, along with friends and family members of all ages.
“For every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours,” said John Barrett, Chair of the Heart Walk and CEO of Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center. “That’s a ‘healthy’ return on investment, and one that we hope will inspire participants to take up walking regularly using American Heart Association Walking Paths and Walking Clubs.”
The Heart Walk brings the Hampton Roads community together by:
• Fostering hope among people with similar experiences sorrows and fears.
• Allowing people to acknowledge their losses and pay tribute to loved ones.
• Providing an opportunity to honor survivors and individuals whose family and friends have been impacted by heart disease and stroke.
• Giving survivors hope that they can influence their own and their loved ones’ destinies by connecting risk factors to a personal loss.
• Inspiring participants to make changes in their daily behavior that reduce risk for heart disease and stroke, such as increasing physical activity and making hearthealthy choices a part of daily life.
• Inspiring participants to make a long-term commitment in the fight against heart disease and stroke by volunteering for the American Heart Association.
• Celebrating individuals and companies that have made significant changes to lead a heart-healthy life (e.g., by being more active, losing weight, etc.) or encourage employees to lead a healthier life.
• Highlighting the successful fund-raising efforts of individuals and companies.
Research has shown walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health. The benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for as little as 30 minutes each day can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Virginia is ranked 26th out of the 50 United States in death rates from cardiovascular diseases, and Virginia is ranked 40th in death rates from stroke alone. “We want people to know that it is never too late to start down a healthier path,” said Matt Manock of presenting sponsor Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “Our hope is that the Heart Walk will help jump start a culture of healthy living among participants and increase passion for supporting the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.”
The annual success of the Hampton Roads Heart Walks is due in part to presenting sponsors Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Bon Secours Virginia Health System, and day of event signature sponsor Ferguson Enterprises in addition to Hampton Roads businesses Huntington Ingalls, AMSEC and Newport News Ship Building.
For information on participating in the Heart Walk, call the American Heart Association at 757-628-2610 or visit www.hamptonroadsheartwalk.org.