Start! taking control

Start living happier, Start walkingCardiovascular disease claims a life every 34 seconds. Join the fight against heart disease and stroke by getting “Started!†Start with yourself. Start moving today! The American Heart Association is leading the way with its new Start! health campaign to get Americans walking. This new year-round health initiative will be celebrated during the annual Twin Cities Heart Walk on April 28, 2007.

Start! Health Movement and Walking Program

The national Start! Program is encouraging heart-healthy lifestyles through walking. The program focuses on employers to lead the way by providing leadership and support for the health of their employees. The Start! Program provides resources and incentives to companies to help get everyone walking. It’s a great opportunity to make a commitment to yourself and your employer to get fit and stay healthy, a way to stay active year-round, and it’s easy, convenient, and free.

According to the American Heart Association, everyone pays the price for sedentary living and the rising cost of healthcare.  Businesses lose billions of dollars in productivity losses, and individuals pay an even higher cost–their lives.

“Physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease,†says Heidi Guetzkow, director of the American Heart Association’s Twin Cities area Start! Program. “By getting ‘Started!’ and incorporating physical activity into your day–you can live a longer, healthier life.â€

She points out, “You’ll gain about two hours of life expectancy for each hour of regular exercise, even if you don’t begin until middle age. Start! will help you stop talking and start walking. Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity so you have an excellent chance for success.â€

Employers who champion the health of their staff and create a culture of physical activity in the workplace can apply to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a “Start! Fit Friendly Company.†The deadline for applications is January 15, 2007.
For more information on how to join the Start! health campaign, call 952-835-3300, or send an email to

Now get walking!

2007 Twin Cities Heart Walk

The new Start! Program will celebrate the power of walking at the Association’s premier event, the Heart Walk. The walk is on the move this year with a new spring date of Saturday, April 28 and a new location at Harriet Island in St. Paul.

The walk is free, but participants are encouraged to collect donations for the American Heart Association. Sign up with your company, a group of friends, a family team, or as an individual. Walkers can set up a personal web page and achieve fundraising goals by asking family and friends for their support.

The American Heart Association expects up to 30,000 people to participate and raise $1.5 million on this day alone­–money used to support heart and stroke research in addition to public and professional educational programs.

Research funded by the American Heart Association has yielded important discoveries such as CPR, pacemakers and bypass surgery.

In addition to a new date and location, the Start! Heart Walk will have a new look and feel. The walk will take participants on a journey to create hope, inspire change, and celebrate success. Along the walking path, participants will be engaged in educational activities and inspiring stories of survivors.

For more information about the Heart Walk, please contact a Heart Walk staff member at 952-278-7903, or register online at