Is Healthy Hearts On The Move Worth My Time on Feb. 7?

Absolutely! Healthy Hearts On The Move is a free community event which features free health screenings, opportunities to try physical activities in a relaxed environment, fun activities for families and children, educational opportunities relating to good health, tasty snacks, and hands-on healthy cooking demos! What a great way to spend an hour or two on a Saturday morning! If the weather permits, you can even opt in on a guided walk outside, so bring your boots. Plus, there is even a chance to win the door prize of a $300 gift certificate to Jay Peak to enjoy some healthy fun on the slopes or in their water park! That opportunity alone is worth stopping by!

This is the third year that NMC has sponsored Healthy Hearts On The Move in collaboration with a number of our community partners. The event is set for Saturday, February 7th, from 9am to Noon at St. Albans City School. The organizing team, led by Jill Torrey of Northwestern Cardiology and Kate Laddison and Janet Havrilko of NMC Community Relations, has put together a great morning!

This year’s free health screenings include tests that address many of the risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. You will be able to have a free screening for (and learn more about) blood pressure, blood glucose (sugar), cholesterol, and waist circumference. This is not a setting where you will be lectured about your results. It is a supportive, educational setting where our team will help you better understand your results and how they influence your health and your risk for illness. With that knowledge, you will be better able to take steps to be healthier. That’s our goal – a healthier community.

This year, the physical activities will be offered in two gyms: one for adults to participate and one for families to participate — so the kids can get in on the action! Adults will be able to try Zumba at 9:30, Hula Hooping at 10:00, Yoga at 10:30, and Tai Chi at 11:00. Families will be able to try Hula Hooping at 9:30, Zumbatomics at 10:00, Yoga at 10:30, and Martial Arts at 11:00. If you have done these before, this is a great chance to have some free fun. If you’ve never tried something, this is the perfect chance to experiment and see if you like it. Who knows, you might find something you love and be a new step ahead on the path to better health!

This year’s educational activities are so creative! Here is just a sampling. Northwestern Georgia Health Center will be helping kids decorate awesome re-usable cloth snack bags and talking about healthy snacks. Northwestern Cardiology will be engaging people about their family trees and how family history relates to health. NMC’s Registered Dietitians will be playing “The Calorie Is Right” with attendees to help inform food choices. Our Emergency Department will be playing “Wheel of Fortune” with attendees with a special focus on the signs and symptoms of stroke. Northwestern Physical Therapy will be helping people learn three free at-home work outs. There will also be a chance to learn about the Patient Portals, where you can log into our secure system and access your health information and communicate with your providers. If you have questions about the Vermont Health Exchange and your insurance, a Navigator from NOTCH will be on hand to talk to you.

You will also have the opportunity to learn more about the exciting RISE VT initiative that our Community Committee on Healthy Lifestyles has been planning. Thanks to an investment from NMC and a grant from the State of Vermont, this new approach to engaging people in healthier lifestyles is getting ready to launch. Dorey Demers, our new RISE VT coordinator, will be at Healthy Hearts with members of the Community Committee on Healthy Lifestyles to share more information about what’s coming and collect contact information of those interested so they can join us on the path to better health.

Such a great morning of health and education and fun! Mark your calendars right now for Healthy Hearts on the Move set for Saturday, February 7thfrom 9am to Noon at St. Albans City School. Come and enjoy. Learn and try new things. Have your free screenings. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be the grand prize winner to enjoy healthy fun at Jay Peak with your family! Please join me – I’ll need moral support in hula hopping!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer