Dallasites are Gaining Milage

Published September 13, 2010 by Laura S

It’s the only time of day in Dallas when you can stand outside for more than an hour without fanning yourself. At 7:30am, over 20,000 people have gathered in Victory Park for the American Heart Association Start! Heart Walk. Dallasites fill the one-way streets in multi-colored T-shirts and walking gear. You+Dallas caught up with a few notables to hear their views on this good cause, and find out what gets their sneakers out of packaging and on to pavement. Dallas Mayor and 2009 Honorary Heart Walk Chair Tom Leppert notes that wellness and exercise make employees fit. “It just makes for a much better community,” he says. “Everybody is touched by heart disease in some way,” says 2010 Heart Walk Chair Darren Rodgers of Blue Cross Blue Shield. “[The Start! Heart Walk is a] great tradition here in Dallas.” Chief Burns of Dallas Fire Rescue remarks that AHA and Dallas Fire Rescue have a common mission: saving lives. Promoting wellness and fitness among firefighters is important because sudden fire alarms can be stressful on the heart. AHA Board President Dr. John Warner of UT Southwestern says that people who walk tend to go to the doctor more. “[Walking is] a great way to begin a journey to better health.” As a caring doctor, he walks for his patients. Long time AHA volunteer Dr. James Race’s jovial personality exudes as he talks about the many heart healthy benefits of walking. Dr. Race makes a good observation: healthy, productive employees will eventually lower health care costs. Like Dr. John Warner, “I walk for my patients,” he says with a smile. Feeling motivated? Leave your cars at home, and clear the streets of Downtown: Dallas has some walking to do.

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