Story County women wanted for health challenge

Sarina Rhinehart

The American Heart Association is looking for 12 Story County women who want to improve their heart health through a 12-week makeover challenge.

The Go Red for Women Heart Health Makeover Challenge is an annual program presented by Ames Racquet and Fitness, Mary Greeley Medical Center and Iowa Heart Center.

“It’s all about changing the lives of those 12 women,” said Juliette Olejnik with the American Heart Association.

During the 12-week challenge, the 12 selected women will have access to resources aimed to improve heart health, including professional nutritional and exercise help.

Each woman will have an initial consultation with a cardiologist from the Iowa Heart Center. The women will also receive a free 12-week membership package and personal exercise prescription from a personal trainer at Ames Racquet and Fitness, and individualized nutritional consultation with a Mary Greeley dietitian.

“Everyone has their own reasons for doing it. They each have their own goals,” Olejnik said. “The program works with the women on an individual basis.”

The women will undergo an initial wellness screening, measuring height, weight, inches, blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index and blood glucose. Those same numbers will be measured at the end of the 12-week challenge and the winner will be announced at the Go Red for Women Luncheon in April.

Olejnik said the luncheon will give the women a chance to share their journey with the expected 300 guests at the event, so they can inspire others to make a change for better heart health.

“Women tend to be so busy taking care of everyone else around them that they forget to take care of themselves,” said Denise Sorrentino, a cardiologist with Iowa Heart Center. “The goal of the challenge is to give these 12 women tools and resources to make heart-healthy behaviors a part of their everyday lives, and to inspire other women to take their heart health into their own hands.”

Applications for the challenge are due Jan. 8, and all women who want to adopt lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity or improving healthy eating, are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and live or work in Story County or surrounding areas.

“We want a representation of all ages, all backgrounds,” Olejnik said.

Applicants will be selected by a committee and will be notified by the week of Jan. 18 for the challenge to kick off on Jan. 28.