Recognizing Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Seeking Nominations for those Committed to Heart-Healthy Activities

walkingAll across the greater Boston area, individuals, families and groups are deciding to live healthier by making changes to their lifestyle. Starting an exercise program, reducing stress levels, incorporating better eating habits, quitting smoking and managing blood pressure and cholesterol are just a few examples of the many ways that people are getting healthy.

The American Heart Association is seeking nominations for the 2015 Lifestyle Change and Walking Awards, which is locally sponsored by the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). The awards recognize people who have made changes that have impacted their quality of life and improved their health. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, March 13, 2015 and winners will be recognized on National Walking Day, Wednesday, April 1 at ceremony at BIDMC.

“We think it’s important to recognize individuals who can serve as role models for others because they have made healthy lifestyle changes. No change is too small and every accomplishment is significant,” said Dr. Kamal Khabbaz, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at BIDMC. “As a heart surgeon, I’m keenly aware that people who exercise, eat right, and don’t smoke improve their chances of avoiding or recovering from heart disease.”

According to the American Heart Association, nearly 78 million adults and 13 million children in the United States deal with the health and emotional effects of obesity every day while nearly 80% of adults don’t participate in the recommended amount of physical activity. In the United States, about one out of every three adults have high blood pressure and over 23% of high school students report using tobacco products on a regular basis.

Nominations for the Lifestyle Change and Walking Awards can be submitted by friends, co-workers or relatives or individuals can nominate themselves.  Please note that in order to be considered, individuals must be non-smokers or smoke-free for at a minimum of six months. Nomination forms are available at www.heart.org/massachusetts or by calling the American Heart Association at 781-373-4517.

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