Heart Health Takes Commitment

Diane Oelke and her mother Pat Wheeler are in the groove when it comes to their health. They recently learned their risks of suffering a heart attack in the next ten years. Diane's is zero percent, Pat's just two percent.

But they also learned that doesn't mean they're perfect!

"I learned my cholesterol is borderline high, and I need to back off on the fats," Pat said.

"I need to work on getting the weight off," Diane said.

Their information came from the Women's Heart Advantage Program. Back in May, they had an hour and a half long personal assessment of their heart disease risk.

Cotton O'Neil nurse Carol Bragdon says it's valuable information for anyone.

"It puts the person in charge of themselves," she said. "It gives them the education they need in making healthy choices for themselves."

Diane and Pat on are on the right foot as far as that goes. The Jazzercise enthusiasts say they've stepped up workouts and pay more attention to what they eat. Pat has tried to back off on fried foods, and both are incorporating more fruits and vegetables.

Plus, it's changed the way they think.

"It's a lifetime commitment I need to make for myself," Diane said, "and I think I've done that."

Experts agree that making the commitment is the first step toward a healthy life. You can sign up for a Women's Heart Advantage risk assessment by calling the Cotton-O'Neil Heart Center at 270-4HER. The cost is $55. More information is available at the Center's Web site, www.youknowusbyheart.org.

In addition, Pat and Diane are always looking for new Jazzercise classmates. They work out at the Indian Creek Grange. Classes are 9:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 5:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For details on classes at that location, call Stacey at 286-2127, or visit jazzercise.com.

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