More than 2,000 eastern South Dakotans came together to combat heart disease at the Eastern South Dakota Heart Walk on August 19, and to raise funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in the world. The annual event took place at Falls Park West in Sioux Falls.
The non-competitive, one-mile and three-mile walk included teams of employees from local companies, along with friends and family members of all ages.
“Staying active is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heart disease and improve your personal well-being,” said Steven Feldhaus, M.D., a cardiovascular surgeon with Avera Heart Hospital and the 2017 Heart Walk Medical Chair. “As little as 30 minutes each day of moderate physical activity – like walking – have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Physical activity is anything that makes you move your body and burn calories. The simplest, positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health is to start walking. It's enjoyable, free, easy, social and great exercise. A walking program is flexible and boasts high success rates because people can stick with it. It's easy for walking to become a regular and satisfying part of life.
“We want people to know that it is never too late to start down a healthier path,” said Dr. Feldhaus. “Our hope is that the Heart Walk will inspire participants to be healthy for good, jump-start a culture of healthy living, and increase passion for supporting the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.”
Heart Walk participants enjoyed the Heart Festival, which included inflatables, face painting, balloon artists, snacks, refreshments, educational booths, and free blood pressure screenings. The Heart Walk is an annual event, free of charge and open to the public.
The annual success of the Eastern South Dakota Heart Walk is due in part to presenting sponsors Avera Heart Hospital and Avera Health. The Heart Walk is also sponsored locally by K&J Trucking, Sanford Health, First Premier Bank, PREMIER Bankcard, Midco, KELO TV, Argus Leader Media, and KTWB FM.