NMC Commentary

Is Healthy Hearts Coming in February?

Yes! Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 4th for “Healthy Hearts on the Move” and get moving towards a healthier you to start 2017!  Last year, more than 500 people of all ages joined the fun and took advantage of free health screenings, participatory fitness activity demos, active play opportunities for kids, educational displays on a wide variety of health topics, and more!  This year’s Healthy Heart on the Move promises to be a wonderful day of fun, action, and education – including a chance to win one of three passes which allow a carload free entry into any Vermont State Park all season long!  Healthy Hearts on the Move will be held at St. Albans City School from 9 am to Noon on Saturday, February 4. Mark your calendar now so you don’t forget!

Last year, the activities for children were such a hit.  It was wonderful to see so many youngsters at play in the big gym at City School.  The team from Northwestern Counseling & Support Services did a remarkable job of organizing such a variety of fun active play opportunities for the kids.  We are so pleased that they are hosting this portion of the event again this year!  Your children will get to enjoy a bouncy house, parachute play, arts & crafts, yoga, face painting, and more!  Active play as a child creates habits that can last a lifetime through enjoyment of being physically active.  I encourage you to bring your kids and let them enjoy a morning of action and fun!

We adults need active play as well and Healthy Hearts on the Move has just the thing for you.  Our community is fortunate to have a number of fitness centers helping people be more active.  At Healthy Hearts on the Move, representatives from the area fitness centers will be on hand throughout the morning to demonstrate various activities for adults. This gives you a chance to enjoy some physical activity under the guidance of a friendly expert.  You can try something new without having to commit to a membership – or you can enjoy a familiar offering – all for free!  It is awesome to have Collins Perley, Duke’s, New Beginnings, Planet Fitness, and Raw all interested in taking part and helping each of us get a bit more active.  These are great community partners and resources.  Stay tuned for future announcements in the local media and on social media about the timing and specifics of the various offerings they will be hosting.

Free health screenings have been a popular offering at each year’s offering of Healthy Hearts on the Move.  Attendees will have the opportunity to have free cholesterol screening, free blood pressure screening, and free blood sugar screening.  These are important indicators of your risk for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.  ‘Knowing your numbers’ and understanding what you can do to lower your risk if you are at risk is the best way to take control of your own health.  Staff will be on hand to help you understand the results of the screenings and help you with the right next steps.  The screenings are quick and easy and what you learn from them can make so much difference in your health.

Healthy Hearts on the Move has other learning opportunities as well.  At the event, you will have the opportunity to enjoy engaging and interactive conversations at the educational displays.  This year, those will feature: Northwestern Cardiology & Pulmonology, local dentists, local primary care providers and pediatricians, NMC’s Lifestyle Medicine, Rehab Services, and Emergency Departments, Healthy Roots, RiseVT, and more!  You will even be able to learn about the NMC Patient Portal and how you can securely access your health information and interact with your NMC provider through our portal.

Did I mention free massage?  That’s a fantastic offering that is not to be missed.  Make sure you sign up for a session as those tend to fill up fast!  Plus, there will be delicious healthy snacks that are also not to be missed.

There is so much going on at Healthy Hearts on the Move that you will be given a “Passport to a Healthier You” when you arrive to guide you through all the offerings.  This is a fun, entertaining, educational way to invest in your own health.  It’s free and open to all ages, so please join us.  Winning one of the door prizes would be amazing, wouldn’t it?  Join us for Healthy Hearts on the Move on Saturday, February 4, from 9am to Noon at St. Albans City School.  Let’s all enjoy a bit of healthy fun together as we rise into 2017!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC Chief Executive Officer