May 2012

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The Road to Better Team Waist Watchers Meet Yolanda McCowan-Burkeland, Shari Taylor, Sue Stumpf Th ere's truth, and then there's reality…or so the saying goes. Th e truth here is clear: Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women, despite the fact that 80 percent of women's cardiac events are preventable through lifestyle changes. And that brings us to the reality. We all know the mantra for better health. "Eat less, move more, repeat," says Shari Taylor. Taylor, along with eight other area wom- the kids are more independent, the dishes done, and the fl oors vacuumed," admits Yolanda McCowan-Burkeland. "Th ere was never enough time to just catch up." Somehow they never seemed to strike "I thought I'd have more time—once en, was looking for a way to steer her health onto a better path—one that would last beyond dietary and fi tness fads. While they knew the rules for healthy living hadn't changed, their lifestyles told a different story. Th e stresses of work and family life, the ease of those ready-to-make meals, just plain being too tired after the end of a long day—whatever the reasons, their health was rarely part of the picture. The Experts the right balance between their health and their lives. Th ough different ages, with different backgrounds and facing differ- ent challenges, they had come together in three teams with one common goal. "It was time to invest in myself and my health," says Sue Stumpf, echoing the collective mission. Enter the 2012 Go Red For Women Girl- friends Challenge. A collaboration between the American Heart Association-Wis- consin and UW Health, the challenge is a 12-week program of Go Red For Wom- en, AHA's nationwide initiative to equip women of all ages with tools to live long, To guide each team on a path to heart-healthy (and happy) living, this panel of experts coached them along Lugene Chicks, MS, RYT Mindfulness meditation instructor UW Health Integrative Medicine A heart healthy life isn't just about what you eat and how much you move, it's about lowering stress, learning to slow down, and building awareness. With strategies to accomplish each of these tasks, Chicks helped the challengers discover mindfulness meditation. 58 BRAVA Magazine May 2012 Shilagh Mirgain, Ph.D. Assistant professor and senior psychologist Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, UW School of Medicine and Public Health A specialist in behavioral medicine, Mirgain guided the challengers in making themselves a priority, offered strategies to create sustainable goals, overcome obstacles and understand their inner motivations. Vonda Shaw, MS, MPH Manager UW Health Preventive Cardiology For over 20 years, Shaw has helped patients modify lifestyle behaviors to aid in recovery from heart disease. She gave the challengers tools for making physical activity not something to put on the to-do list, but a part of their daily lives.

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