SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Syracuse Heart Walk isn’t missing a beat in its 37th run. Like last year though, the annual event on Sunday, April 18, is still virtual.
However, the campaign’s program director, Kristin Thompson Henry says this year will be even better after being forced to quickly switch to a virtual event in 2020.
“We’re excited because we’re adding some elements that we didn’t have last year,” Thompson Henry explained.
The American Heart Association’s Heart Walk is a legacy event that usually draws thousands together to step out and raise awareness for heart disease, stroke and living healthier lives.
“We changed the format to the Syracuse Heart Challenge for just a one day event, to a month long experience. It aligns with our ‘Move More Month’, which just so happens to be this month in April. So, we made it a month-long initiative just to get people up and moving,” Thompson Henry said.
Sunday will still be that special day of celebration. The Syracuse Heart Association will livestream a program on Facebook kicking off at 11:00 a.m.
Sticking to its usual family-fun event, there will be a battle of the DJ’s segment and other important messages from this year’s Inspirational Honoree, David Holst and Syracuse Executive with Heart Challenge Chairperson, Duane Wiedor.
While the layout is much different than years prior, the message is still very much the same, to live fierce and say ‘yes’ to a healthier lifestyle.
Now more than ever, we know that 2020 was a year like no other. So, we said that in 2021, what can we do to be healthy? One thing that we said is that we want you to live fierce, that’s our tagline of the year, and to also take ownership of your health.Kristin Thompson Henry, Director of the Syracuse Heart Challenge, American Heart Association
Also new this year, a mobile activity tracker that you can download right on your phone through the Heart Walk app.
Once you sign up for the event, it helps you track your movement. Plus, it lets you see where you fall in the ranking of those with the most steps.
Throughout Onondaga County, there’s also signage to help inspire you to keep exercising. You can find those at Onondaga Lake park, Burnett and Thornden parks.
If you want to sign up for the 2021 Syracuse Heart Challenge event, it’s not too late! Click here to register.