#IZEACares continues partnering with our local community by joining the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk fundraiser.

About the AHA

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Founded by six cardiologists in 1924, the organization now includes more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters. They fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives. Their nationwide organization includes 156 local offices and more than 3,000 employees.

The Heart Walk

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premier event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers – heart disease and stroke. Local chapters from around the U.S. join together with survivors and families to spread awareness of the healthy habits that can combat heart disease and stroke, like adding a simple walk to your daily routine. Individuals and teams can enter and raise money to support local survivors and current patients. To find your local heart walk and more ways to get involved, head over to the Heart Walk website and enter your zip code.

Additional Ways to Get Involved

Want to get involved in creating a future where heart disease and stroke are a thing of the past? Your local Heart Walk is one of many opportunities for you to get involved and support the education and prevention of heart related deaths in the U.S. Volunteer opportunities include anything from hosting hands only CPR trainings to simply being a survey participant. If you’re unsure how you can help the American Heart Association, use this form to select opportunities that sound interesting to you and your local chapter will be in touch.

Simple Things You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

Every 39 seconds a cardiovascular related disease occurs. Prevention begins with education. Here are 10 small steps to get you on the road to better heart health:

1. Take a 10-minute walk. If you don’t exercise at all, a brief walk is a great way to start. If you do, it’s a good way to add more exercise to your day.

2. Give yourself a lift. Lifting a hardcover book or a two-pound weight a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles. When that becomes a breeze, move on to heavier items or join a gym.

3. Eat one extra fruit or vegetable a day. Fruits and vegetables are inexpensive, taste good, and are good for everything from your brain to your bowels.

4. Make breakfast count. Start the day with some fruit and a serving of whole grains, like oatmeal, bran flakes, or whole-wheat toast.

5. Stop drinking your calories. Cutting out just one sugar-sweetened soda or calorie-laden latte can easily save you 100 or more calories a day. Over a year, that can translate into a 10-pound weight loss.

6. Have a handful of nuts. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and other nuts are good for your heart. Try grabbing some instead of chips or cookies when you need a snack, adding them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch, or using them in place of meat in pasta and other dishes.

7. Sample the fruits of the sea. Eat fish or other types of seafood instead of red meat once a week. It’s good for the heart, the brain, and the waistline.

8. Breathe deeply. Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day. It can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing may also help lower blood pressure.

9. Wash your hands often. Scrubbing up with soap and water often during the day is a great way to protect your heart and health. The flu, pneumonia, and other infections can be very hard on the heart.

10. Count your blessings. Taking a moment each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life is one way to start tapping into other positive emotions. These have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being, just as their opposites — chronic anger, worry, and hostility — contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.