As part of Heart Week a walking group has been established at Gympie Central Shopping Centre.
As part of Heart Week a walking group has been established at Gympie Central Shopping Centre. Barry Alsop

Gympie walks for heart health awareness

A NEW Heart Foundation Walking group will step out for the first time in Gympie during Heart Week, as residents are being encouraged to visit their doctor for a Medicare-funded Heart Health Check to reveal their risk of two of the state's biggest killers - heart attack and stroke.

After years of campaigning, the Heart Foundation spearheaded the introduction of a Heart Health Check covered by Medicare, which became available on April 1, 2019. Australians aged 45 years and over, and Indigenous Australians from 30 years, can now see their GP for a Medicare-funded Heart Health Check to learn their risk of heart attack and stroke in the next five years.

To raise awareness about Australia's new Heart Health Check, media and members of the public are invited to the launch of a Heart Foundation walking group at Gympie Central Shopping Centre tomorrow.

Celebrate Heart Week (April 28 to May 4) with a walk through the shopping centre, followed by refreshments and blood pressure checks.

The Heart Week walk will start at 7.30am outside the Gloria Jean's entrance.

The Gympie Central group will meet every Wednesday at 7.30am.

Heart Week is an opportunity for the Australian public and healthcare professionals to start a conversation about heart health and the steps we can take to reduce our risk of heart disease.

It is estimated Australia's new Heart Health Check could prevent 76,500 heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease over the next five years, avoiding 42 heart events every day.

"Heart disease is the single biggest killer in Australia, yet we know that many heart attacks and strokes can be prevented by addressing key risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol and other lifestyle choices,” said National Heart Foundation Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.

"Heart disease is not always obvious - having a heart attack could be your first sign. Don't wait for chest pain, it could be too late - get the vital tests you need by visiting your doctor for a Heart Health Check.”

As part of a Heart Health Check, your doctor will look at the risk factors that increase your likelihood of heart attack and stroke by reviewing your blood pressure, cholesterol, diet and lifestyle, and other factors such as family history.

Depending on your level of risk, your doctor may prescribe medication and recommend lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, being more active and improving your diet.

Heart Foundation Walking groups are a simple, safe way to be active, and best of all, they are free.

Participants receive free Heart Foundation Walking newsletters and recognition for their walking (including certificates and vouchers) after they have reached significant walking milestones.

The Gympie Central group will meet every Wednesday at 7.30am at the Gloria Jean's entrance at Gympie Central Shopping Centre for a 30-45 minute walk.

To join a walking group or start one of your own in your area, visit http://walking.heartfoundation.org.au or call 13 11 12 (cost of a local call).

Heart Foundation Walking is supported by the Australian Government and the Queensland Government.

Visit heartfoundation.org.au/heartweek or call the Heart Foundation Helpline on 13 11 12.

Gympie Times


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