To mark World Heart Day today, the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention is teaming up with cities to help residents fight heart disease – a “silent killer” and America’s leading cause of death.
Mayors across the nation are each hosting a special “Move with the Mayor” walk this week. The goal: to warn residents about heart disease and highlight ways to prevent it.
“Heart disease is killing hundreds of thousands of our friends, neighbors and family members every year,” said John Clymer, executive director of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention. “Yet too few people realize that it’s the leading cause of death in America. It’s a silent epidemic, and we all must take steps to stop it.”
Mayors from a number of cities hosted their own “Move with the Mayor Challenge,” a month-long series of walks to save lives by getting people on the road to a healthier heart. Cities participating included Columbia, SC; Green Bay, Wisc.; Indianapolis; New Orleans; Oakland, Calif.; Toledo, Ohio; and West Chicago, Ill.; and Wichita, Kan.
As part of the effort, participating cities distributed free Bluetooth step trackers so walkers could mark their progress. The mayors also wore step trackers to assess how they did.
“This is just one more way to make walking fun and get people moving,” Clymer said. “You can compete against others – or against yourself to meet your daily goals.”
The trackers were sponsored by CardioSmart and Amgen.
Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases kill about 800,000 Americans every year. That’s more people than all types of cancer combined.
“These statistics are particularly tragic because deaths from heart disease are preventable,” Clymer said.
Walking, for example, is one way to lower the risk of heart disease, Clymer said. Studies show that walking just 30 minutes a day can significantly lower you’re the risk of heart disease.
“Walking is one of the easiest ways to lower your risk of heart disease. You don’t need special equipment or a gym membership,” said Clymer, whose nonprofit organization focuses on saving lives through public education and policy initiatives. “Just start with a short walk and you’ll start feeling better.”
Events on World Heart Day are part of a larger national public education campaign by the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention.
“There’s no better day than today – World Heart Day -- to start on the road to better health,” Clymer said. “Your life will be a lot better, and you’ll be around longer to enjoy it.”
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FORUM FOR HEART DISEASE & STROKE PREVENTION
The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention brings together the most dynamic and diverse organizations in cardiovascular health, providing a forum and outlet for organizations to amplify their voices. Our members currently represent more than 80 national and international organizations from the public and private healthcare organizations, as well as faith, advocacy, academic, and policy settings. The National Forum is an independent non-profit, 501(c)(3), voluntary health organization. To learn more, visit www.nationalforum.org.
ABOUT WORLD HEART DAY
World Heart Day was founded in the year 2000 to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year. World Heart Day takes place on Sept. 29 every year.