The Austin Heart & Stroke Walk is back this year to celebrate heart and stroke survivors, raise lifesaving funds and promote a culture of physical health and mental well-being.
The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers – heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that’s fun and rewarding for the entire family.
“As one of the largest community events in Austin, the AHA is excited to welcome back community members. Heart Walk is about coming together with friends, family and colleagues to get moving and focusing on improved health, honoring survivors, raising life-saving funds to fight heart disease and stroke — and having fun along the way,” says Nathalie Eguiza, Heart Challenge Director for the AHA. “Considering everything we’ve experienced and are still experiencing as a community; the Heart Walk will be a time to celebrate safely.”
The in-person event, slated for October 16, will adhere to all local and state safety guidelines, with as much distance between groups as possible to ensure participants are comfortable. The event will be available to participants in three different formats. Participants will have the option to join the 5K walk and run, choose an AHA designated alternative walking route, or join the campaign’s Move More Challenge. The Move More Challenge is a 30-day personal fitness challenge presented by Vertiv.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important to find new ways to boost physical and emotional health. The Heart Walk is a great way to keep up healthy habits, stay socially connected and keep up with physical activity while making an impact in your community and saving lives,” says Eguiza.
The Heart Walk app will issue an alert once the challenge has begun and will share tips to keep participants motivated throughout the month. For adults, the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking or gardening, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity such as running or aerobic dancing, or a combination of both intensity level activities. In addition, the Association recommends two days of moderate-to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity weekly, such as resistance training.
Bigger Impact Beyond the Walk
In addition to raising critical funds supporting heart and brain research, the American Heart Association is tackling what are often considered the root causes of poor health or the Social Determinants of Health. These determinants include housing, access to care, access to nutritious foods, job security and ethnicity.
In fact, people in some under-resourced ZIP codes have shorter life expectancies than their neighbors just a few miles away. And people in often remote, rural areas face significantly higher death rates from heart disease and stroke. COVID-19 has illuminated these unacceptable health disparities and worsened the problems. Our 2024 Impact Goal affirms our focus on identifying and removing barriers to health equity.
Get Involved Now
The AHA is currently recruiting companies, coaches, and teams. Encourage your company to participate and set a company-wide fundraising and participation goal. It is a great way to engage staff and focus on overall employee well-being. Register to participate or start a team at austinheartwalk.org.
After signing up, you may download the Heart Walk app which connects to most devices to track physical activity, enabling you to participate in the Wellness Challenge. Upon registration, participants receive access to fundraising tools. There is no fundraising minimum. Visit austinheartwalk.org for details.
Meet Austin’s Community Impact Director – Catalina Berry
Catalina Berry is passionate about inspiring healthy living, community and giving back in her personal and professional life. After being an active volunteer for the American Heart Association for over ten years, Catalina is now the Community Impact Director for the American Heart Association Central Texas Market. Her work in her current role is around policy, systems, and environmental changes in the community with a focus in health equity. Growing up bi-cultural and bilingual has helped shape Catalina into who she is today as she strives to be a positive influence in the community.