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Free event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25
IRON MOUNTAIN – Dr. Barbara Washington, a clinical non-invasive cardiologist at Bellin Health in Iron Mountain, regularly encourages her patients to take better care of their hearts by incorporating exercise and physical activities into their day-to-day lives.
Now Washington is hoping to put those words of encouragement into action as an organizer of the free Bellin Health Heart Smart Poker Walk or Run scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 at City Park.
“Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death worldwide,” Washington said. “It’s important to let families know that this disease is preventable with lifestyle changes – walking 30 minutes daily, quitting tobacco use and maintaining ideal body weight. Our walk/run event and its focus on heart health is an effort to reiterate that message and encourage healthier living.”
The free Heart Smart Poker Walk or Run includes a 3.1-mile course and a 1.5-mile course. Participants are free to walk or run either course.
The 3.1-mile course starts at Columbus Drive and Park Road, heads south down Harding Avenue and continues down N. Balsam Street. The route veers west on Pyle Drive and turns north onto S. Westwood Avenue. The course then turns east on Woodward Avenue and north through Dickinson Boulevard, Marquette Boulevard, S. Park Street and back to Harding. The 3.1-mile course ends on N. Park Road.
The 1.5-mile course starts at Columbus Drive and Park Road, heads south down Harding Avenue, snakes across Fulton Street, back up Marquette Boulevard to S. Park Street and back to Harding. The 1.5-mile course ends on N. Park Road.
Participants will receive one playing card during registration, three along the course and one at the finish line. One card may be traded at the results table. The best hand wins.
Prizes include an autographed football by Green Bay Packers player Jermichael Finley and an Island Resort and Casino package. The top winning five hands earn prizes.
A Heart Smart commemorative T-shirt is available for $10.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
• In 2010, heart disease will cost the United States $316.4 billion.
• 631,636 people died of heart disease in 2006.
• Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
• Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. In 2005, 445,687 people died from coronary heart disease.
• Every year about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack. Another 470,000 who have already had one or more heart attacks have another attack.
Participants can register for the Heart Smart Poker Walk or Run online at www.bellin.org/calendar or mail registration forms to Bellin Health Heart and Vascular, 212 East B Street, Iron Mountain, MI 49801. Registration form drop-offs also are welcomed.