American Heart Association kicks off heart walk in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

American Heart Association kicks off heart walk in Albany

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November 1, 2007

Albany--It's an unsettling statistic.  Every year, almost one million Americans die of cardiovascular disease---which adds up to 42 percent of all deaths in the country.

And unfortunately, heart disease doesn't just kill the elderly.  In fact, it is the leading cause of death for all Americans age 35 and older. One organization is trying to change those statistics.

Today the American Heart Association will kick off its annual heart walk in Albany all in an effort to promote healthy living.

In the United States, more than 64 percent of adults are either overweight or obese.

"With the obesity crisis that we have going on in America right now, it's scary to think that children of this generation are more likely to die before their parents from a preventable disease," says Payton Wingate, regional director with the American Heart Association.

And according to Wingate,  they're more likely to die from a cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading cause of death in the country. "Heart disease and strokes are the number one and number three killers of Americans today. Think about it. Everyone knows somebody who's been affected by heart disease or have succumbed to heart disease," she says.

Wingate says the key to living longer is changing unhealthy habits.

"Start on a walking program get out from behind the television and off the sofa. They need to eat healthier," she says.

And to help promote a healthier life style, the American Heart Association is also kicking off its annual heart walk later today.  "We'll even have a tent set up for health screenings, if you need to get your blood pressure checked, and see where you stand," she says.

Organizers hope to raise about $100,000 dollars from the event--the money all going toward a good cause.  "All the dollars we raise go to research to prevent heart disease and stroke," she says.

While the event hopes to challenge south Georgians to get fit. "We are looking forward to seeing everybody there. It's going to be a fun event," she says.

The heart walk will officially kick off at 6 PM at the veranda on Meredyth Drive in Albany. The event will last approximately two hours. If you have yet to register, you can do so at the event. It's free to do so.  For more information, you can contact the American Association at 883-5858.

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