(KUTV) Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women. This is why it’s important to live a heart healthy lifestyle. Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute is hoping to inspire people with their latest My Heart Challenge.
“We have 11 people who represent some of the most active non-profit organizations in Salt Lake Valley,” said Dr. Kirk Knowlton, Co-Chief of Cardiology and Director of Cardiovascular Research at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.
Participants are competing for a $1,000 prize for their organization, but more important than the money, is the chance of a healthy lifestyle. One of the participants, Karla Pardini, represents the JCC.
“The Jewish Community Center is a wonderful place to be if you’ve never been there. Everyone is welcome at the JCC,” Pardini said.
Before the challenge, participants underwent a number of baseline tests to see what they need to work on.
“I got a lot of blood work. I got a stress test. I got the BodPod. I got 3d imaging. I mean it was really fun to go through all of that to see where I stand,” Pardini said.
Karla found a few areas to focus on during the next 100 days. These include: managing her blood sugar, daily exercise – specifically strength training, drinking more water, and tracking what she eats.
“The tracking of the food is hard. Tracking is not something I like because if I eat that red licorice I have to track it, and I don’t like writing that down,” Pardini said.
“We hope [lifestyle improvement] will also extend beyond just the 11 people that are involved in the heart challenge,” Knowlton said.
Karla has bene an example of this and taken the idea of this challenge into her workplace. They conducted a staff meeting and created their own 100-day challenge. Not only will this improve the heart health of her co-workers, it also helps Carla stick to the My Heart Challenge.
“It’s really been nice to have the camaraderie for me. I feel lucky I have that. I’m not solo in the 100-day challenge,” Pardini said.
Knowlton said it helps to work together in groups because it helps individuals be more motivated.
The My Heart Challenge: Non-Profit Edition is underway and a winner will be crowned in less than 100-days.