Mayor Ruben Pineda joined residents, students and other elected officials today in taking steps to fight heart disease.
Mayor Pineda hosted the city’s first annual Move with the Mayor Challenge, a month-long series of walks to raise awareness about heart disease and ways to prevent it. The campaign, a partnership between the City of West Chicago, Healthy West Chicago and the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention, with great support from the staff and administration of School District #33, encourages residents to walk with the Mayor for 30 minutes every Saturday morning in September at 9:00 a.m. from now until World Heart Day, which will be celebrated on Thursday, September. 29, 2016.
“I understand that we are all busier than ever with the demands of work, family and social commitments, but according to the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke, if we can find just 30 minutes a day to walk, we can add years to our lives,” said Mayor Pineda.
John Clymer, executive director of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention, said that walking is one of the easiest ways to lower a person’s chances of heart disease and its risk factors, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Research shows that walking as little as 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
“Getting on the road to a healthier heart doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It can be as quick as a 30-minute walk like today’s,” said Clymer, whose nonprofit organization focuses on saving lives through public education and policy initiatives. “Just take your first steps now, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier life.”
Joining Mayor Pineda on Saturday’s walk were residents, students, and other elected officials. The walk started at Gary Elementary School, 130 E. Forest Avenue and ended at same location.
The next walks will be held at 9:00 a.m. each Saturday in September, with registration and a free pre-walk yoga stretch session offered by West Chicago resident Farrah Brown, owner of Thalia Soul Care, at 8:30 a.m. Dates and locations follow:
- 9/10 Start at Currier Elementary; 800 Garys Mill Road
- 9/17 Start at Healthy West Chicago Office/St. Michael’s Church; 108 Sherman Street
- 9/24 Start at Reed-Keppler Park; 201 W. National Street
For an interactive map of the Move with the Mayor routes for the month of September, including St. Michael’s Church/Healthy West Chicago office, visit www.westchicago.org. Citizens of all ages are encouraged to track their steps and/or minutes of physical activity each day on an online weekly walking log found at www.westchicago.org.
“The goal is to start a great habit and keep West Chicago’s residents walking every day from now on,” said Mayor Pineda.
“We’re thrilled to partner with West Chicago on these series of walks that could save tens, hundreds or even thousands of lives,” Clymer said. “You just need to get started walking, and keep at it. You, your heart and your family will thank you.”