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Birmingham Heart Walk launches Move More Challenge

This year's Birmingham Heart Walk is a digital experience for individual walkers rather than a group experience. (contributed)
Alabama Newscenter

The American Heart Association (AHA) 2021 Birmingham Heart Walk has been reimagined as a digital experience this year to maintain necessary safety protocols due to the ongoing pandemic. The event is June 12 from 9-11 a.m. and participants can walk from anywhere.

Beginning May 14, participants are encouraged to track their activity through the Move More Challenge using the free Heart Walk activity tracker app that can be downloaded from Apple or Google Play. Once registered, users have 30 days to log minutes, and any activity counts. Top movers and fundraisers will be recognized on Heart Walk day.

Birmingham Heart Walk’s free activity tracker app is an easy way to log your minutes. (contributed)

Teams can use the app and the Move More Challenge to stay connected and encourage each other to be healthy and active. The AHA recommends 150 minutes of activity per week, and users can connect their existing activity tracking devices, like an Apple Watch or Garmin, to the app to automatically retrieve activity data. If you don’t have an activity tracking device, it’s no problem: You can record your activity directly in the Heart Walk app during or after exercise.

“We are so excited to launch our Move More Challenge with the new activity tracker this year,” said Hannah Carroll, Heart Challenge director for the AHA in Birmingham. “This is a great way to put the mission of the AHA into action in our daily lives by increasing our activity in a fun, competitive way. To participate, just make sure you have our mobile app downloaded on your phone.”

More than 600,000 Americans die each year from heart disease, and the risks have been compacted by the pandemic. Among COVID-19 hospitalizations, 40% are heart or stroke patients, so this year donations from the Heart Walk will help fast-track COVID-19 research and train front-line workers in addition to the many other research projects and resources funded by the AHA.

Alabama Power will join with Birmingham-area Southern Company Services, Southern Nuclear and Southern Power employees again this year for a combined presence at the Heart Walk to continue the momentum and positive impact of last year. Alabama Power Service Organization chapters from the Birmingham area and the Energizers retiree organization will be participating in the walk.

“The Birmingham Heart Walk is a wonderful event, and I’m pleased to participate again this year,” said David Cox, Southern Company vice president of technology, who will chair the event for the second year. “The AHA has done a great job imagining a way to continue its fundraising efforts and creating a fun experience to keep people active in this virtual world.”

To learn more and register for the 2021 Birmingham Heart Walk, visit birminghamheartwalk.org. Anyone who registers before May 18 to participate will receive a free Heart Walk T-shirt.