On your hearts. Get set. Go!
Downtown Lima was pumping with activity during the fourth annual HeartChase! The event is sponsored by St. Rita’s in support of the American Heart Association’s goal to improve cardiovascular health and to reduce death from heart disease and stroke by 20% by the year 2020. While the event raises awareness of the serious issues with cardiovascular health in the United States, it does so in fun and creative ways that keep participants engaged in their own heart health.
Heart Chase creatively keeps its participants on the move. After the starting countdown, teams beat feet to various stations where they took part in physically challenging tasks, such as running laps while carrying a sack of potatoes, weaving giant tires between cones, and performing practice CPR. “It’s fun, challenging, and educational!” said a representative of the office of Dr. Martz and Eric Amstutz, Nurse Practitioner, while waiting in line for a giant box puzzle challenge.
While the activities keep Heart Chasers moving, it also gets them thinking. Stations had unique ways to educate players about healthy habits. A corn hole activity, which had bean bags marked with food items, determined what ingredients participants would have to put on a sandwich. “It’s supposed to show us that we need to watch what we eat,” explained Wendy Rayl of the “Food for Thought” sponsor booth. There was even a Pictionary station where individuals attempted to draw examples of healthy habits.
However, it’s the chasers themselves who are the heart of Heart Chase. Participants dressed in creative uniforms to represent their teams from a variety of local businesses and medical offices. The “Dream Chasers” of the Lima Sleep Center donned sleep study gear in support of the many heart patients who suffer from sleep disorders, while Tom Geis and his “Lab Rats” team were suited in white coats with rubber rats perched on their shoulders for St. Rita’s New Vision Medical Labs. “It’s a time for everyone to get out of their comfort zone and have fun!” said Tom, and it is certainly an event that will continue to inspire citizens of Lima to improve cardiovascular health for years to come.