Category Archives: American Heart Association

National Walking Day!

Every day on snapchat, I encourage people to walk. If you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know walking is one of my true passions in life and that David and I have been walking for at least 11 years now. 


Well, Wednesday is your chance to get started on a walking program. It’s National Walking Day! 


The American Heart Association has the following suggestions for how you can participate in National Walking Day. 

  • Take a walk on April 6!  (We encourage a 30-minute walk.) 
  • “Donate” your minutes walked that day at #AHALaceUp. Whether it’s 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour, post your minutes on social media using the hashtag #AHALaceUp and help us reach a total “donation” of 100,000 minutes walked across America! Follow our updates all day.
  • Want to encourage friends and family to join you? Planning a walk at work or school? It’s easy! Get the free National Walking Day toolkit with tips and promotional materials here!
  • And follow @american_heart on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for news and tips on fun ways to move.

I hope you’ll give it a whirl. It’s so easy and you’ll feel great afterwards. See you there! And don’t forget #AHALaceUP. 🙂

Go Red Girlfriend Moments

In November, I was contacted by the local Go Red coordinator and asked if I would be willing to host a Go Red Girlfriends Moment to take a stand for all the women in my life.


What is a Go Red Girlfriends Moment??

A ‘Moment’ is defined as an opportunity taken to spread awareness to women’s cardiovascular health, and to ask friends and family to join you in making a gift to the cause to take a stand for all women close to your heart.

I was getting ready to hit the road but I planned three “Moments”. They were small but important. 

I held the first Moment in Las Vegas. We met at Serendipity 3 for their famous frozen hot chocolate. Not something that is necessarily heart healthy but it’s not every day you share a treat like this. My two friends, Lyndzee and Lauren, joined me and we were able to talk about how they could keep their hearts healthy. 


My next Moment took place in Tulsa at my home. I invited my friends for a glass of wine and some Christmas cookies. It was really getting close to Christmas and only two of my Tulsa friends were able to make it, Laura and Shelley. Yet, the message is important and as a bonus, these are two women I was excited to introduce to each other. 

gmt1 gmt2

I scheduled my third “Moment” in Oklahoma City the same day Mother Nature decided she wanted to schedule an ice storm. I had to cancel this “Moment” and I was really disappointed since it would’ve been the largest. I made a donation for each of my friends who said they would attend and I hope to reschedule it in the future. 

The Go Red message is one that I believe in strongly. I’ve seen my own aunt be an almost text book story of how her symptoms didn’t look like a “typical” heart attack in men, the doctor sending her home, and my cousin insisting they figure it out. Over my years of volunteering for Go Red I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that particular scenario.

Ladies, know your numbers! Know the signs and symptoms of heart attack in women and be alert for your heart health and the women around you. Extra information can be found at the Go Red for Women website. 

Teaching Kids to be Heroes

Today, I was excited to be a part of a group from the American Heart Association that went to Blossom Valley Elementary School in Los Gatos to help teach the kids how to do hands only CPR.

It was quite an assembly. Also attending were several county councilpersons, the superintendent and many fired and EMS workers. Santa Clara County is working on putting automated external defibrillators (AEDs) n all of their schools. We were at Blossom Valley to talk to the kids about the AED and to show them how to use it.


Three of the five fifth grade classes participated in the assembly. I love fifth graders! They are interested and smart and fun. They were excited to learn the process and they were all really good at it. I walked around, along with the other adults, to make sure they had their hands positioned correctly, were pumping the Manikins correctly, etc.  

The Manikins that were used are like the ones in the Family and Friends CPR Anytime kit.

The cool thing is that these kits can be purchased for your own home use so your fifth grader can learn how to properly do CPR, too! 


Once the kids learned how to do the hands only CPR, the AED instructions were added in an they practiced that. I think they kids learned really well the subject matter they were supposed to learn. They had fun doing it and I’m sure that if they ever need to help someone, they will be able to!


Save Lives California Tobacco Rally

On Wednesday morning, bright and early, I carpooled with two other folks from the American Heart Association up to the state capitol in Sacramento. We were joining the many other groups that make up the Save Lives California Coalition for a tobacco rally.


A special session was held to approve a package of six tobacco bills. 

The package included:

  • SBX2-5/ABX2-6, which would add electronic cigarettes to the existing definition of tobacco products;
  • SBX2-6/ABX2-7, which would add hotel lobbies, small businesses, break rooms and tobacco retailers to the list of smoke-free workplaces under state law;
  • SBX2-7/ABX2-8, which would increase the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 years old;
  • SBX2-8/ABX2-9, which would require all schools in the state to be tobacco-free;
  • SBX2-9/ABX2-10, which would allow local jurisdictions across the state to tax tobacco; and
  • SBX2-10/ABX2-11, which would create an annual Board of Equalization tobacco licensing fee program (California Healthline, 7/17).

Cigarette smoke related disease is the most preventable cause of death. The measures above should not only save money to the California health care system, it will also save lives. 

The day started with a press conference in the park. 


Then we were broken up into groups and we visited the lawmakers on our list asking them to consider supporting the bills, giving them the reasons they should support them, and sharing our personal stories. 

My group included Jang, a heart attack, stroke, survivor, heart, kidney transplant wonderman and three medical students from UCSF: Rachel, Iris and David. 


It took us a while to get cleared to go into the building.


But when we did, my group and I visited all of the lawmakers on our list. I thought we did a great job of presenting our case and were received very well. Then Jang and I decided to visit one of our local assemblymen. He hadn’t received a visit from anyone so we were happy we stepped outside the box on that decision. 🙂


I read this morning that the bills passed the Senate. I hope they will become laws and more control will be placed on the smoking and second hand smoking here in California. 



Bay Area Wellness Symposium

On Tuesday, I was invited to attend the Bay Area Wellness Symposium put on by the American Heart Association. Although the focus was on workplace wellness, because I’m interested in health and fitness, I was very excited to attend!


The day started with  welcome followed by a panel interview. All of the panelists spoke about the employee wellness programs they are operating at their companies. They are doing some innovative things and they are getting lots of participation which equals healthy employees and healthcare cost savings.


Then we had a little Zumba before the break. It was fun to watch the whole audience participate but it would’ve been hard not to want to follow the lady who was leading it. She was upbeat and fun!

 After that, there were two break out sessions to choose from. I chose the session on Fit-Friendly Worksites. I don’t currently have a job, but if I did, I would want it to fall in line with these guidelines. I think it’s a great opportunity for people to be motivated by their co-workers to optimum health. Excellent idea that I’m also hoping I can figure out how to translate to our apartment complex here. 


The morning ended with a keynote by Jeffrey Pfeffer who spoke to us about Dying for a Paycheck. His preseantion was about his research into the negative effects of workplaces on our health. He was funny and extremely interesting!


I’m glad I learned about and decided to attend the Bay Area Wellness Symposium. Not only did I take away some great information, it also allowed me to start connected with the American Heart Association in the Bay Area. 🙂