The American Heart Association is calling on Northwest Ohio residents to start walking.
Start! is the American Heart Association’s national initiative that champions walking because it has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity. The NW Ohio paths are among hundreds of Start! Walking Paths designated across the country. For a list of paths nationwide or to map a custom walking route in your neighborhood, visit www.startwalkingnow.org.
In January, the American Heart Association defined the seven key factors to ideal cardiovascular health. Physical activity is one of those factors, but only 15 percent of American adults achieve the association’s recommended levels of moderate aerobic exercise (150 or more minutes per week). The Start! initiative encourages all Americans to get started on a regular walking program as a way to achieve their physical activity goals and to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 30 percent.
“Healthy lifestyle choices should be a community priority. Nearly 70 percent of adults in Northwest Ohio are overweight or obese and are at risk for heart complications from sedentary lives,” said Erin Fish, AHA Start! Heart Walk director. “Exercising just 30 minutes a day can make a big difference in their cardiovascular health.”
Start! offers several free options to help walkers get started on the right path:
• Three customized walking programs (beginner, intermediate and advanced);
• Online tracking tools to document calories consumed, steps taken and routes walked;
• “Sole-mates” - social networking capabilities to find and support like-minded walkers;
• A grocery list builder and heart-healthy recipes;
• Downloadable seasonal walking guides with tips to maintain a routine regardless of the weather;
• Start! walking videos produced in collaboration with ExerciseTV, making an at-home workout easier with tips and motivation;
• Start! social media daily walking guide with daily walking guides, inspirational messages, heart-health tip of the day, video content from Exercise TV, community chat capability and a private journal.
Start! is sponsored nationally by Subway restaurants and locally in Northwest Ohio by ProMedica Health. For more information, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit startwalkingnow.org.
Free vascular screenings
Bay Park Community Hospital in Oregon is offering free vascular screenings on the second Monday of every month from 1 to 4 p.m.
Screenings are available for those over the age of 65 or over age 50 if they have a history of one or more of the following risk factors: diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking or family history of vascular disease.
The following screenings will be offered:
• A carotid scan, which is a painless ultrasound test to help identify the risk of stroke.
• An aortic scan, which is a painless ultrasound test to detect an abdominal aneurysm—a potentially fatal condition
• A Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) test to measure the circulation in the legs.
An abdominal aneurysm often has no symptoms and is often left undetected unless discovered during a routine physical exam or chest X-ray. PAD affects eight to 12 million Americans, and people with PAD are three to four times more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke.
Medicare-qualified seniors are eligible for a one-time aortic aneurysm screening exam within the first 12 months of enrollment. To qualify, participants must inform the screener at the time of their exam.
For more information or to register, call 419-690-7845. The hospital can not provide screening to patients currently being treated for vascular disease.
Bay Park lists April events
Bay Park Community Hospital will offer the following community events in April:
• The Look Good, Feel Better program will be offered April 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Great Lakes Conference Center Huron Room on the hospital’s Garden Level. The American Cancer Society-sponsored session teaches beauty techniques to women who are actively undergoing cancer treatment. Each participant receives a free makeup kit. Registration is required by calling 888-227-6446 (select option two, followed by one when instructed).
• Wellness screenings, including free blood pressure, bone density, cholesterol and glucose screenings will be offered in the Bay Café April 14 from noon to 1 p.m. For more information, call 419-291-5826.
The free screenings will also be offered April 20 from 2 to 4 p.m., at the East Toledo Senior Center, located at 1001 White St. in Toledo. For more information, call 419-291-5826.
Safe in the Shade
To mark the beginning of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, “Safe in the Shade,” the Second Annual Walk/5KRun for Melanoma, will be held May 1 at 9 a.m. at shelter #3 at Maumee Bay State Park, 1750 Park Rd., Oregon.
The registration fee is $20 in advance (www.thevictorycenter.org) and $25 the day of the event (8 to 8:30 a.m.).
All proceeds raised will go to The Victory Center, which supports and educates cancer patients and their families.
Caregiver phone forum
The Alzheimer’s Association, Northwest Ohio Chapter, in conjunction with the Legacy at Heritage Estates in Findlay, is offering monthly Caregiver Phone Forums.
Registration is required to receive a passcode. To register for the free phone forum programs, call 1-866-644-4944, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Participants can dial into the meeting and enter their passcode to participate in the conference call (caregiver support group). Those who wish to follow along with notes can connect via the Internet.
Dates and topics include:
• April 22, 7-8 p.m., Caring for the Caregiver – tips for managing and reducing stress to help caregivers take care of their own health and welfare.
• May 20, 7-8 p.m., Simple Activities at Home – suggestions for keeping the person with Alzheimer’s disease active and involved.
The Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will hold its Toledo Area Annual Conference April 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg.
The conference will provide valuable information for health care providers, family caregivers and others interested in expanding their knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease.
The conference will feature keynote speaker Beth Spencer, MA, LISW, teacher, trainer, consultant, counselor, care manager and author.
For CEU information, a registration brochure and/or for more information, call 1-800-272-3900.
Alcohol marketing examined
According to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, in 2007, more than 40 percent of youth exposure to alcohol advertising on television came from ads placed on youth-oriented programming.
Prevention Partnership will present a Town Hall Meeting on “Alcohol Ads, What Do They Say to Our Kids?” April 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Terra Community College, Building B, Rooms 101-102, 2830 Napoleon Rd., Fremont.
Mercy College’s Department of Continuing Education is offering Camp Scrubs, an interactive summer camp for youths with a special interest in math, science and healthcare careers.
The camp includes hands-on activities such as DNA fingerprinting, dissecting a pig heart, analyzing x-ray films, anesthetizing a goldfish and using critical thinking to solve a crime.
Camp Scrubs I, which will be held June 7 to 11, is designed for youths entering sixth or seventh grades.
Camp Scrubs II, set for June 21 to 25, is open to those entering eighth and ninth grades and those who attended Camp Scrubs I last year.
Registration forms are available at www.mercycollege.edu/continuing-education. Registration is $275 before April 30 and $299 after.
Health care grants available
The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is accepting grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to pay for their child’s health care treatments, services or equipment not covered by their commercial health insurance plans.
Qualifying families could receive up to $5,000 to help pay for medical services and equipment such as physical and occupational therapy, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids. Grants are also provided in cases where insurance may cover only a portion of the expenses.
Last year, UHCCF awarded 55 grants totaling approximately $180,000 to Ohio families. To be eligible for grants, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan.
Parents and legal guardians may apply for grants online at www.uhccf.org. The Web site includes additional grant application criteria, video clips and a live chat feature that enables visitors to speak directly with a UHCCF representative. Visitors can also make tax-deductible donations directly online.
Practically a tournament
The Epilepsy Center of Northwest Ohio will present the 22nd annual Practically a Golf Tournament (PGT) April 22-24 at Westfield Franklin Park mall.
The PGT is a unique nine-hole miniature golf tournament comprised of a variety of events including a competitive group tournament, where area businesses, organizations, or just four friends are invited to create a foursome and compete for a spot in the finals and maybe to win a cash prize and the coveted six-foot trophy. There will also be a high school tournament and a Family Fun Day.
In addition, open play will be available to the public for $5 a round. All proceeds benefit The Epilepsy Center of Northwest Ohio.
For more information, call Roy Cherry at 419-867-5950.
A Northwest Ohio celebration of World Tai-Chi Day will be held April 24 at 10 a.m. in the open space just east of the Visitors Center at Wildwood Metropark.
The celebration will include demonstrations of different styles of Tai-Chi, which is both a martial art and a gentle form of exercise for good health, and the art of Qigong for deep relaxation and invigoration of the mind.
For more information, visit www.nwotaichi.com.
Comedy for the Cure
Operation Pink Ribbon has partnered with Connxtions Comedy Club, 5319 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo, to present a “Comedy for the Cure” fundraiser May 14.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. for the silent auction bidding. The show will start at 8 p.m. During the evening of fun and laughs, more than $3,000 in items will be auctioned off, with proceeds going directly to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.
The Operation Pink Ribbon team will take part in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in Detroit in August.