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Residents encouraged to love their hearts

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By Special to the Monitor

The Los Alamos Heart Council (LAHC) announces a new initiative: Learn to “Love Your Heart.”

The council will kick-off the initiative with a free presentation on “Women and Heart Health: What Everyone Should Know” at 12:30 p.m. Monday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center in the downstairs classroom. No registration required.

February is “American Heart Month” and Friday is National Wear Red Day, which is a campaign to raise awareness regarding cardiovascular disease in women.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.

Feb. 12 brings a speaker to town for the LAHC annual seminar at the First Baptist Church, 2200 Diamond Drive.

This program features a heart-healthy light supper at 5:30 p.m.

The menus for the dinner are taken from those used in the Heart Council’s Heart-Healthy Cooking School, which is offered in March.

Dinner will be followed by a presentation at 6:15 p.m. by Paula Devitt, a certified diabetes educator and dynamic speaker returning for a second year. DeVitt’s talk is titled, “Heart Healthy? Take Off 5 Pounds! A Little Goes A Long Way.”

Attendees will learn the value of small weight and fitness changes for heart disease and diabetes prevention. This program will be taped for showing on PAC-8 at a later date, and a copy of the DVD will be available at the Mesa Public Library.

Registration is requested and can be made through calling the Cooperative Extension Service at 662-2656. At registration, qualified seniors needing transportation can request a ride on a first come first served basis.

For anyone who missed DeVitt’s talk last year she will be appearing at Northern New Mexico College in Española at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 to offer the same program she presented in Los Alamos in 2008 titled, “Heart Healthy? It’s All in the Numbers.”

This talk is already available on DVD at the Mesa Public Library.

The Heart Council urges everyone to Wear Red on Fridayand will be selling “Love Your Heart” red bracelets for $1 to promote Heart Month.

Bracelets are available at any of the Heart Council programs listed above and at the Los Alamos Medical Center Gift Shop.

The Los Alamos Heart Council is a nonprofit, United Way Agency that serves Northern New Mexico.

The LAHC web-site is www.losalamos.com/heartcouncil.