POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess-Ulster American Heart Association announced the 14 women selected for their 9th BetterU Makeover Challenge at a kick-off event at Gold’s Gym in LaGrange Friday. BetterU will assist the women on their journey toward improved heart health through lifestyle changes. The 12-week BetterU program is sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. The program’s goal is to remind all women of the need to make healthy lifestyle choices to prevent their number one and five killers – heart disease and stroke.
Each of the 14 women will receive a three-month membership and personal training at Gold’s Gym, a baseline medical evaluation from Health Quest Medical Practice, and nutrition coaching, heart health seminars and group workouts. They will chronicle their progress on the AHA’s Hudson Valley blog at http://hudsonvalleyny.heart.org.
The BetterU Challengers include Jaime Butler, Anne DeMuro, Sheryl DeStefano-Bowe, Judy DiMattia, Candice Pannella, Danielle Perry, Janna Whearty, Elisa Gwilliam, Denise Hector and Shari Clement, all from Dutchess County. Emily Darrow, Carmella Spreer, and Janine Russo are from Ulster County, and Lisa Mathis is from Orange County. They range in age from 37 to 70 years old. More than 70% of the women are overweight, 36% have high blood pressure, 36% have high cholesterol and 43% have a family history of heart disease or stroke.
“Central Hudson has committed to the BetterU Challenge for this ninth session because the health of Hudson Valley women is a priority for us,” said Denise Doring VanBuren, Vice President of Public Relations, from Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, the program’s sponsor, “We have 14 participants this year, and they battle the same health challenges that many of us battle–weight problems, joint pain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. BetterU is here to help women make healthy changes!”
Prevention efforts and lifestyle changes can prevent more than 80% of heart disease in women, according to the AHA. The AHA recommends that all women have a Well Woman annual physical and discussion with their doctors to help identify serious health concerns before they become life threatening – such as heart disease and stroke, particularly if they have a family history of heart disease. Heart disease takes the life of one in three women — almost one woman every minute. It claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
Maureen Kangas, 2018 Go Red For Women Chair, welcomed the crowd and 2018 participants. Lisa Morris, a 2017 BetterU Challenger, encouraged the women to take advantage of all the program has to offer and to make their health a priority in their lives. Rita McPeck, who participated four years ago, said she lost 40 pounds as a result of the program.
The BetterU 12-week program begins July 27th and concludes at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on November 9, 2018 at the Grandview. Danielle Perry will provide a weekly video status report of her progress, exclusively for HVNN.com. You can follow the participant’s progress online at http://hudsonvalleyny.heart.org, www.facebook.com/AHANewYork and on Twitter @HVHeartAssoc.
2018 BetterU Participants’ Personal Goals
Jaime Butler, Poughkeepsie – “I am looking to increase my strength, stamina and learn the healthy habits I can use to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle so I can set the example for my children and other family members who struggle with weight issues to avoid heart and other health issues.”
Emily Darrow, Hurley – “I’m hoping to lose weight, get in better shape and, most importantly, learn how to create a healthier lifestyle. With a family history of high blood pressure and heart disease, I know how important this is – now and for the future! “
Anne DeMuro, Poughkeepsie – “ I have spent years on a diet and exercise yo-yo. My hope is to get my weight to a heart-healthy number and keep it there! I want to gain energy and regain range of motion so that I can age gracefully while maintaining an independent and active life. I want to be healthy in mind, body and spirit! “
Sheryl DeStefano-Bowe, Hyde Park – “Through the 12-week BetterU program I hope to establish a movement program that I can sustain and enjoy. I also want healthy eating to be second nature to me, not a diet that begins and ends. These are the goals that will allow me to live spontaneously, and I am very, very grateful for this opportunity!”
Judy DiMattia, Fishkill – “Having had heart disease in my family history, I am hopeful and ready to make a difference. It is time to Better Me! I am very excited to make lifestyle changes like eating healthier, exercising regularly and managing stress.”
Lisa Mathis, New Windsor – “I want to finally get out of the hamster wheel of dieting and fitness programs. Always running toward goals that I have been unable to completely reach. I want a consistent, healthy weight, healthy eating habits and fitness routine!”
Candice Pennella, Poughkeepsie – “I hope to learn how to make and maintain healthier lifestyle choices while surrounded by supportive people who understand how hard those choices can be. The time has come to start putting myself first!”
Danielle Perry, Wappingers – “I am tired. I am uncomfortable. I don’t want to wait until it’s too late to turn back the clock and take off the pounds that are sticking around so easily now. I want to change my health before poor health becomes my final destination.”
Carmela Spreer, Highland – “My family has a history of heart disease, and I have high blood pressure, so I want to change my lifestyle and learn healthy habits.”
Janna Whearty, Poughkeepsie – “Last September the 47-year old wife of a friend of mine passed away from a heart attack. I hope that through this program I can get fit and establish healthy habits. I have many things I’d like to do that my present fitness level won’t let me. I want to change that.”
Elisa Gwilliam, Poughkeepsie – hopes to increase her cardio fitness, work out consistently, and increase muscle and lose fat as a result of her participation in this program.
Denise Hector, Hyde Park – “Getting back to healthy is my goal as a participant in this program. In 2017, I firmly decided that I would not be a smoker by my 55th birthday which was July 16th, and I’m proud to say that I smoked my last cigarette on July 7th, 2017. I’m one year being smoke free! While I believe this was a huge accomplishment for me, the extra weight I gained isn’t as easy to shed as was in the past. This program comes at the right time! My mind is made up and I’m ready to begin my journey for living a healthier lifestyle!”
Janine Russo, Gardiner – “I have a family history of heart disease and just got put on Lipitor for high cholesterol. I hope to come out with the knowledge how to be healthier. I want to lose weight with healthy eating and exercise. I want to make a life change.”
Shari Clement, Dutchess County– “What I hope to achieve in joining the BetterU program is to implement changes that I can sustain for the rest of my life. I want desperately to get off high cholesterol and high blood pressure medications and maintain a healthy lifestyle, while still enjoying my life.”