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Free cardio-awareness event offered to 'Get Your Heart Racing'

A free event to increase heart disease awareness will include a full day of tips for lifestyle changes that will set participants on a path toward more heart-healthy lives.

“Get Your Heart Racing” is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes. It’s a daylong program featuring sessions that will address the basics for decreasing risks for heart disease.

At the end of the day, participants will have the opportunity to “get their heart racing” – literally – by jumping into a race car at Brainerd International Raceway for a high-speed, white-knuckle ride.

The event’s sessions will be educational yet fun and light. Participants will take home simple, effective tips for improving their lifestyle from a heart disease perspective.

For example, one session will be about fitness. Participants will get up and learn some exercises they can do in the comfort of their living room. A dietitian will talk about heart-healthy eating by sharing easy and cost-effective ways to improve their diet.

After the sessions end at Arrowwood, participants will have the option of taking part in exhilarating rides at BIR. They can jump into race cars with experienced racers who will either make a few high-speed laps around BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course or make full-throttle passes down BIR’s drag strip.

The day’s sessions:

• “Get in Gear! – Heart Healthy Fitness” by personal fitness adviser Anita Travica from the Brainerd Family YMCA.

• “Eating Your Way to a Healthy Heart” by registered dietitian Mary Ambroz from Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Brainerd Clinic.

• “Lunch is Served” by Chef Matt from Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes.

• “Understanding Heart Disease” by Dr. Michael Rich, cardiologist, of the Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center.

• “Get Motivated to Make Changes” by Karla Provost, director of respiratory care/cardiopulmonary rehabilitation at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center.

• “Heart Healthy Care in Your Home” by Good Neighbor Home Health Care.

During breaks, participants can calculate the age of their heart and determine their risk factors for cardiovascular disease using an online tool that Essentia Health has available on its website at You may be 45 but have the heart of a 65-year-old, which could pose risks for your health and your life.

Space is limited for the event and the deadline to register is May 17. For more information and to register, visit

Good Neighbor Home Health Care in Baxter is the event’s presenting sponsor. Essentia Health and UCare are also sponsoring the event, along with The Center. The Brainerd Lakes Heart & Vascular Center at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center is in partnership with CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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