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Park Rapids students wear red to recognize heart disease

The Century School gym was a sea of red last week as students dressed in red to honor and remember those affected by heart disease. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)1 / 2
Members of the FM Acrobats performed for Century School students last week as part of a kick-off to an American Heart Association fundraiser in February. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)2 / 2

Century students are raising money for the American Heart Association.

Last week, students wore red to honor and remember everyone affected by heart disease. They were also encouraged to exercise to prevent heart disease.

At a kick-off pep rally, students watched the FM Acrobats perform. Many students also attended basketball games wearing their red clothing.

During Thursday night's basketball games people bought raffle tickets for a chance to shoot some free throws during half time. All donations and proceeds from this event went to the Midwest American Heart Association.

Park Rapids students will continue to seek donations from family and friends.

Cardiovascular disease kills more people in the U.S. than the next five leading causes of death combined, including cancer.

According to the American Heart Association, regular periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity (3-5 times per week) enhance the health, academic performance, attitudes and classroom behavior of children at school.

Some other facts from the American Heart Association include:

n A number of studies have demonstrated that increased physical activity is linked to better school performance.

n Overweight adolescents have at least a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight adults.

n Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. It's the leading cause of death for both men and women.

n In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. People can greatly reduce their risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.

Here are some ways to lower the risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

n Watch your weight.

n Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

n Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

n If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

n Get active and eat healthy.

n Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin every day if you are a man over the age of 45, or a woman past menopause.

n Manage stress.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561