Walking for good heart health

By Taryn West, MultiCare Health System

This October Joe Hidalgo will be putting on walking shoes to join hundreds of participants at the Heart and Stroke Walk in support of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. The walk will be celebratory for Joe. One step at a time, he has worked to improve his health and said goodbye to 90 pounds along the way.

It all started when a co-worker at MultiCare Health System had a health scare. “Somebody on my team had a heart attack so of course all of us older and overweight fellas had to look into ourselves and say ‘Do I want this to happen to me’? I have two boys who aren’t married yet and I want to be around for that and when they have their own kids.” Since that day, something in Joe clicked and he made a commitment to his health.

Joe had been overweight for quite some time. “I used to be an athlete when I was younger so I knew what I needed to do. But once I got married and had kids, I quit doing all my workouts because I thought I was being selfish. The weight started creeping up and then you get to a point where you look in the mirror and say ‘Who is that guy’?”

Exercise and healthful eating are now part of Joe’s daily routine. He rides the stationary bike, walks and lifts weights. He aims to get at least 10,000 steps a day. In addition to losing the weight, Joe’s blood pressure has gone down dramatically. “I feel really good but am not quite at my goal weight yet.”

On Saturday, October 8, Joe will be at the South Sound Heart and Stroke Walk walking in support of his colleague who had the heart attack, but also as a way to celebrate the positive lifestyle changes he has made. He says he will stay focused on his health but also wanted to give back to others.

The Heart and Stroke Walk is organized annually in Tacoma and Seattle by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This year’s walks will be held Saturday, October 8, at Cheney Stadium and Saturday, October 15, at Seattle Center.  Proceeds help to raise awareness and fund medical research to advance the fight against heart disease and stroke.  To join, visit SouthSoundHeartWalk.org or PugetSoundHeartWalk.org.

Copyright 2016 American Heart Assoc.


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