The Take it to Heart Challenge

Take it to Heart reminder for women

By Mary Baer - 5, 6 & 10 p.m. anchor, Elizabeth Berry
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Channel 4 is working with Baker-Gilmour Cardiovascular Institute, Memorial Hospital and Walgreens to remind people to "Take it to Heart" and to take the Take it to Heart challenge.

The Take it to Heart challenge is designed to get women moving.  On the 4th of every month, on Channel 4, we'll remind everyone to take the 4 step challenge that is designed to change lives and get people moving. 

The challenge consists of four steps. The first is to learn the symptoms of heart disease and to educate yourself and your loves ones about how heart disease symptoms are different in women than they are in men.  

The second step in the Take it to Heart Challenge is to know the individual's risk factors.  Doctors say knowing whether you're diabetic or have elevated cholesterol is key to knowing what changes need to be made to get on the right healthy life track. 

The third step in the challenge may be the most challenging for some people, Channel 4 and the Take it to Heart team wants everyone out there who smokes, to quit. 

Finally, the fourth step is exercise.  Getting up and moving will make a huge difference and that's why it's one of the most important parts of the challenge.  Doctors say starting a moderate exercise program means taking steps to better health and the best way to do that, is to work out with a friend. 

"Lets face it, you do not do it when you do it alone," said Dr. Kay Gilmour.  "Using technology. We need to use technology both internet and phones to get women connected. You can have a walking buddy in Alaska. And with facebook and linkedin and instagram, you're going to be fine."

Dr. Gilmour said she has a vision for the Take it to Heart Challenge and she wants to see women connecting and getting out to exercise together.  Gilmour is calling for local groups around Jacksonville to join in on the challenge too. 

"I want to see the Jacksonville Garden Club women to take on the Macon Garden Club Women and walk them into the ground. I want to see how many of them can quit smoking? How many of them can lose those 5 lbs that lowers their bad cholesterol by 10%," said Gilmour.

Frances Samuel told Channel 4 that she regularly takes the challenge and spends lots of time helping women understand why it's so important. 

"Later is not a good thing for us. because if we have a heart attack, the percentage is not so good for survivor rate, because we put it off and put it off and put it off," said Samuel.  "I just know that women, us we're just soldiers on the line and nobody's there to take care of us because we're always taking care of somebody. so if we don't, who will? So somebody's gotta get out there and just keep banging that drum. That's how I feel."

In order to sign up for the Take it to Heart Challenge, head to the Take it to Heart website.  Everyone who signs up gets a free pedometer to keep track of the steps their taking toward better health.  

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