JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On the fourth of every month Channel 4 reminds viewers to Take it to Heart. The Take it to Heart program began in 2002 to increase awareness about heart health.
Channel 4 held a phone bank Wednesday night with volunteers from Take it to Heart and cardiologist Dr. Scott Baker to get people to sign up for the Take it to Heart Challenge.
"Take it to Heart was created to initiate that awareness because if you don't know about the issue you can't defend yourself against the issue," said Baker. "The next step of what we are doing is the challenge and now that we've made you aware we want to tell you how to take control, and try to prevent heart disease and that's what the challenge is all about."
Educating people about the risk of heart disease and the steps to take to reduce heart disease is the main goal of the Take it to Heart Challenge. The challenge is made up of four steps and it's designed to change lives.
The first step of the challenge teaches people the symptoms of heart disease and also the symptoms that are unique to women. One in three women die from heart disease or stroke.
The second step of the challenge helps people find out their risk factors based on health and diet.
Step three of the challenge may be one of the most important: it encourages people to stop smoking.
Finally, the last step of the challenge is to get up and move. The challenge encourages people to exercise moderately for 30 minutes a day.
"We know this works, this is what we do day in and day out, so we know this works," said Baker. "For those who follow through, the rewards are the gift of health and everybody who attains that is very pleased about that."
Seventy people signed up for the challenge Wednesday night. If you missed the Take it to Heart phone bank, you can still sign up for the challenge by heading to the Take it to Heart website.
Do you have a story about your health heart that you'd like to share with Channel 4 and the team at Take it to Heart? Head to the Take it to Heart website and tell us about it; we're looking for great stories about people who have changed their lives after a heart attack.