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Hearts N' Parks

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I don’t know about you but I am so not ready for bikini season! Well, actually, I’m NEVER ready for swimsuit season! I strongly suspect that some of you feel the same trepidation that I do as I watch the temperature gauge rise on a daily basis signaling the start of summer. Despite the obvious disadvantage of having to bite the bullet and put this body into a swimsuit, summer is a perfect time to ramp up your workout routine with an eye to getting not only the body you want but a leaner, trimmer, healthier heart as well.

To help you on the journey to a more beautiful heart (along with a more swimsuit ready body), the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) have teamed together in a unique program called Hearts N’ Parks. A nation-wide community-based program, Hearts N’ Parks is geared towards reducing the ever growing obesity problem in the US and putting a lid on heart disease (coronary artery disease – CAD). Hearts N’ Parks encourages Americans to get active, maintain a healthy weight, and exchange their super-sized eating habits for healthy (normal portion sized) eating. The American Dietetic Association has even jumped on the bandwagon and is lending their dietary wisdom to the program.

If unhealthy eating habits were a disease, then we’d have an epidemic on our hands here in the United States. As it is, our eating habits have created a nation of swimsuit avoiding couch potatoes. In the last twenty years, the number of persons considered obese in the United States has doubled. Almost two-thirds of the people in the U.S. (64 percent) are either overweight or obese. That’s a lot of couch potatoes! The more we stay indoors glued to the wonderful world of TV, the more the problem grows – literally around our tummies and thighs and of course, in hidden layers of fat around our hearts and arteries as well. Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S.

So, how can Hearts N’ Parks help? The Hearts N’ Parks program offers a variety of heart healthy services and programs.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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