WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayors from across the U.S. are partnering with the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention to take steps now to fight the most prolific killer of Americans -- heart disease.
All the mayors are hosting their own "Move with the Mayor Challenge," a month-long series of walks to save lives by getting people on the road to a healthier heart.
The campaign, a partnership between the cities and the National Forum, encourages residents to join their mayor for weekly walks from Sept. 1 through World Heart Day, Sept. 29.
Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases kill about 800,000 Americans every year. That's roughly one out of every three deaths in the U.S. Yet surveys show many people are unaware that cardiovascular diseases kill more Americans than all types of cancer combined.
"Too many people don't realize that heart disease is America's No. 1 cause of death," said John Clymer, executive director of the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention. "It's a silent epidemic that's killing hundreds of thousands of Americans every year.
"But this doesn't have to happen. Deaths from heart disease are preventable," Clymer added. "That's why we're trying to spread the word and get people moving."
Partnering with the National Forum include the cities of Columbia, SC; Green Bay, Wisc.; Indianapolis; New Orleans; Oakland, Calif.; Oklahoma City; Toledo, Ohio; West Chicago, Ill.; and Wichita, Kan.
Residents are encouraged to join their mayor for the weekly events – or walk on their own if they can't make it downtown. The goal is to get as many people walking as possible – not just with the mayor -- but every day of the week.
Research shows that walking just 30 minutes a day can significantly cut the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
"We're thrilled to partner with mayors across the country to fight this disease that causes so many premature deaths every year," said Clymer, whose nonprofit organization focuses on saving lives through public education and policy initiatives. "Moving more in your daily life is a big way to reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. The mayors are setting healthy examples and improving their own heart health in the process."
In addition to walking each day, the National Forum is urging Americans to follow the "ABCS" as outlined by the Million Hearts initiative:
A for aspirin: Take aspirin as recommended by your health care provider.
B for Blood pressure. Get your blood pressure checked and find ways to lower it if necessary.
C for Cholesterol. Manage your cholesterol.
S for Smoking cessation. If you need help quitting, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.smokefree.gov.
"Just about anyone can take these simple steps to prevent heart disease and live a longer, healthier, happier life," Clymer said. "The steps are small but the benefits are huge."
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FORUM FOR HEART DISEASE & STROKE PREVENTION The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention brings together the most dynamic and diverse organizations in cardiovascular health, providing a forum and outlet for organizations to amplify their voices. Our members currently represent more than 80 national and international organizations from the public and private healthcare organizations, as well as faith, advocacy, academic, and policy settings. The National Forum is an independent non-profit, 501(c)(3), voluntary health organization. To learn more, visit www.nationalforum.org.