Go Red for Women Heart Health Makeover Challenge

By KBJR News 1

January 10, 2012 Updated Jan 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Eight Northland women began a journey Monday to become heart healthy. They are taking part in this year’s American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Makeover Challenge.

The kick off was held at the Spirit Valley Super One Foods with a tour lead by registered dieticians who explained the benefits of reading labels and making smart choices before your unpack the groceries at home.

The advice included reducing sodium intake, cutting back on saturated fat and increasing the consumption of fruits, veggies and fiber.

According to the American Heart Association heart disease is the number one killer of women but the good news is that is can largely be preventable through healthy lifestyle choices.

The women in this year’s makeover challenge were chosen from a pool of applicants to participate in the eight week program.

Their goals include weight loss, kicking cigarettes and setting a good example for their family and friends.

Stacey Askelson from West Duluth was thrilled to be selected to participate in this year’s makeover.

Her mother died in her 50’s from heart disease and Askelson’s aunt died recently. With a strong history of heart disease in her family she is anxious to make changes in her diet and increase her physical activities to build and maintain a healthy heart.

Over the next eight weeks she and the other challengers will have the opportunity to do just that. As part of the challenge they will receive two months free gym membership and take part in a heart health program with the support of medical professionals from Essential Health and St. Lukes in Duluth.

Doctor Mary Boylan is a cardiothoracic surgeon and volunteers her time and energy to the Northland Chapter of the American Heart Association.

She says both hospitals have embraced the makeover challenge. The hospitals will provide challengers will heart health screenings at the beginning and the end of the challenge to measure improvements.

During that time they will also have the support of coaches, dieticians and one another.

Cathy Kates from the B105 Breakfast Club will be among them. A self–described "closet smoker," Cathy quit smok

ing Monday and so far so good. She told us she is feeling great.
The Go Red for Women challengers will showcase their progress at the Northland Go Red for Women Luncheon on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at Greysolon Ballroom in Duluth. For ticket information call Kim Gear at 218-727-7297.

Heart disease can largely be preventable through healthy lifestyle choices.

For more information about the challenge and to find health healthy tips visit www.northlandgoredforwomen.org.

Michelle Lee
mlee@northlandsnewscenter.com