Heart Walk and Run: Time to sign up

The Miami Valley Division of the American Heart Association will hold its annual Heart Walk and Run on Sept. 28, 2013. The event begins with registration at 8 a.m. at Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton.

The Heart Walk is expected to bring more than 4,000 Miami Valley area residents together to raise funds to fight heart disease and stroke, America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this noncompetitive, three-mile walk, which begins at 9:15 a.m. The 5k run is a timed event and is set to begin the same time as the walk.

Jason Hess of Lastar Inc. and the chair of the 2013 Greater Dayton 5k Heart Walk/Run, states, “For every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours. 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.”

Walking is an excellent way to achieve better heart health, and benefits can be gained from as little as 30 minutes each day. “We want people to know that it is never too late to start down a healthier path,” said Hess. “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.”

Heart Walk participants will experience three “communities” that feature relevant resources and activities.

The “My Heart” community:

• Fosters hope by bringing together people with similar experiences, sorrows and fears.

• Allows people to acknowledge their losses and pay tribute to loved ones.

• Provides an opportunity to honor survivors and individuals whose family and friends have been impacted by heart disease and stroke.

• Gives survivors hope that they can influence their own and their loved ones’ destinies by connecting risk factors to a personal loss.

The “My Life” community:

• Inspires participants to make lifestyle changes in their daily behavior that will help reduce risk for heart disease and stroke, such as exercising on a regular basis.

• Encourages participants to make a long-term commitment in the fight against heart disease and stroke by volunteering for the American Heart Association.

The “My Community” area:

• Celebrates individuals and companies that have made significant changes toward leading a heart-healthy life, such as being more active, losing weight, etc., or who have encouraged others to lead a healthier life.

• Highlights the successful fund-raising efforts of individuals and companies.

In addition, a Kids Fun Run/Walk, designed for children of all ages and abilities, will begin at 8:45 a.m. The kids zone will feature activities especially for our youngest “heart walkers” and attendees won’t want to miss the Dayton Dragons mascots Heater and Gem.

For information on participating in the Heart Walk, call the American Heart Association at (937) 853-3110 or visit www.heart.org/daytonwalk.

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