The Star-Herald

AR Gould offers two free community activities to promote heart health

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital will host a free “Healthy Heart” themed event on Friday, Feb. 7, in honor of both Go Red for Women Day and Heart Health Month.  Two days later, on Sunday, Feb. 9, the hospital is partnering with Nordic Heritage Center to offer a free heart-healthy snowshoeing hike. 

“For Go Red Day on Feb. 7, we will offer a mix of both fun activities and educational information to help people be more aware of heart health concerns that may impact them,” said Dawn Roberts, community health specialist at the hospital. “Although we hope folks will get into the spirit of the day and wear red, the day is about so much more than that, so we hope folks stop in no matter what color they are wearing.” 

The hospital will offer free blood pressure and BMI screenings, as well as educational displays about nutrition, tobacco use, physical activity and more in collaboration with the Aroostook County Action Program’s Let’s Go program and SNAP-Ed.  Participants can also join in mini yoga sessions, pick up some heart healthy recipes, have fun at a selfie photo booth, and sign up for door prizes.  

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the hospital’s conference center and is intended for both the public and AR Gould employees.

A physical outing will follow on Sunday at the Nordic Heritage Center, sponsored jointly by Nordic Heritage and the hospital’s Total Wellness Team.  

“Since being active is such an important step in your heart health, this seemed like the perfect fit,” said Linda Menard from the hospital, who is leading the hike along with Jamie Guerrette from the Nordic Heritage Center.  “Employees and community members are invited to join us. We will be hiking less than a mile into a hut where we will stop for a snack and enjoy a fire before hiking back out. If you are a beginner or want to bring your family along, this is an ideal hike to try it out.”

Snowshoes are available at the Nordic Heritage Center at no charge for club members or for a small $5 fee for non-members.  The hike itself is free. The group will depart from the parking lot at 1:00 pm, so people should arrive early to get geared up, particularly those needing to rent equipment.  

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s initiative to increase women’s heart health awareness and to try to affect change to improve women’s health.  Statistics show that cardiovascular diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat. With February being Heart Health Month, it is the perfect time for both men and women to learn more about their risk for heart disease and the steps that need to be taken to help their hearts.

Submitted by the Communications Office of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.

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