This month, the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is getting the word out about World Heart Day on Sept. 29, 2015. Together, with the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention, the school is hoping to promote the importance of improving heart health by creating the “Just One Thing Challenge”.
However, before we get into the specifics, it’s important to know that World Heart Day was created by the World Heart Federation and has become the biggest intervention against cardiovascular disease in the world, according to their website. Working in a hospital and as a strong proponent of public health in the Legislature, I thought it would be a great opportunity to take part in this challenge and live by example –hopefully, inspiring others.
Each day throughout September, I have chosen to become more active. My goal is to get the most out of my lunch breaks by walking around outside which will help reduce my risk of heart attack and stroke. Plus, with the beautiful fall weather approaching, it shouldn’t be difficult to get outside at all. I also will make exercising a priority on the weekends.
While I understand the worries of a busy schedule, and it can be daunting to change your lifestyle all at once, this month can be a period of change for the better. I hope Hoosiers will join me in this challenge.
For you, maybe this challenge means giving up something like treats or starting a new sport, which might be more realistic and less overwhelming. Here are a few examples of one thing you could do every day: eating three servings of vegetables, getting thirty minutes of exercise, trying meditation, yoga or Pilates or getting your cholesterol checked to list a few.
I hope members of our community will join me in choosing just one habit to change to improve heart health. If you are feeling creative, make a video telling others what you pledge to do and post it on social media by Sept. 29, using the hashtag #JustOneThing. You can watch my video on the Fairbanks School of Public Health’s YouTube page and keep an eye on the school’s Facebook page to see videos from many other determined Hoosiers.
Rep. Kirchhofer represents portions of Perry, Franklin and Warren Townships in Marion County.