Mayor Leads West Chicago in a Virtual Physical Activity Challenge to Boost Physical Activity Nationwide
Mayor Ruben Pineda is joined eighteen other mayors in a nationwide initiative to reduce heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 killer, by encouraging residents to get up and get moving.
He kicked off the City’s fourth annual “Move with the MayorTM” aimed to foster community and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease across the City last Saturday. Due to the unprecedented nature of COVID-19, and to maintain everyone’s safety, this year’s MWTM activities are virtual.
Move with the MayorTM is a partnership between the City of West Chicago, Healthy West Chicago, and the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention that encourages residents to join the Mayor in a citywide virtual physical activity challenge on Saturdays in August and September.
“Being physically active can have numerous benefits according to the National Forum, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Mayor Pineda. “Still, I know it can be hard to fit physical activity into our daily routines. That’s why I’m hosting a series of virtual physical activity events in West Chicago to show that fitting 30 minutes of activity into even a hectic daily schedule is possible and can be incredibly rewarding.”
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., killing approximately 610,000 people each year. It does not have to be that way because three of every four people can prevent it through healthy diets, living smoke-free and increased physical activity, such as walking, says John Clymer, executive director of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention.
“Seventy-one million Americans do not get enough physical activity in their daily lives, and that increases their risk for heart disease and stroke,” said Clymer. “And by getting up, getting out, and walking more — perhaps from one meeting to another or other ways in their daily lives — a person can reduce his or her risk and have a longer, more active life.”
Mayor Pineda agrees and says his goal is to motivate West Chicago residents to walk or move more to improve their cardiovascular health.
“While we’ll be offering a variety of virtual physical activity events during the months of August and September, I urge West Chicago residents to find a form of physical activity they enjoy and stick to it year-round, whether it’s taking the stairs, dancing, swimming, or bike riding,” said Mayor Pineda. “By doing our part we can help build a healthier, more dynamic community.”
Research shows that moving for just 30 minutes a day can help combat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, three of the biggest risk factors for heart disease affecting about 47% of all Americans.
About 1 in 3 Americans have high cholesterol; however, many people may not even know they have it, as there are no outward symptoms, according to the CDC. High cholesterol is primarily a result of physical inactivity and dietary habits, including the consumption of animal foods such as eggs, meat, and dairy, and certain oils, such as coconut and palm oil. Other risk factors include weight, overall health, family history, and smoking. While elevated cholesterol levels typically affect adults, the CDC reports that 7% of children ages 6-19 have higher-than-average cholesterol.
Prevention is possible, though. The CDC recommends that Americans eat healthy diets packed with fruits and vegetables, quit smoking, and move for 30 minutes a day. Additionally, adults should get their cholesterol levels checked via a blood test every five years unless otherwise directed by a doctor.
“Mayors around the country recognize that by helping people to become more active in their everyday lives, they can help people have healthier and more vibrant lives,” said Clymer.
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.