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How to take part in a 'Love Your Heart' virtual race

Posted at 2:37 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 16:37:01-05

Do you know that 65 percent of New Year Resolutions are about exercising?

Sadly, only eight percent of people who make resolutions actually achieve them. There are a variety of things that get in the way. It's called life. But there are two surefire ways to put the odds in your favor of achieving success: Accountability and not going at it alone.

Becca Bennion with Intermountain Healthcare's TOSH Running Program, stopped by to share the following tips for getting in the workout groove (and a virtual race you can run at your own pace!):

- Be Accountable
If you let other people know of your intentions - whether its cutting soda out of your diet or running every morning - you are more likely to achieve success. Make your goal a conversation. When you are successful, let people know you are. When you falter, let people know you falter and then get right back up and keep going.

- Involve Others
It takes a lot of motivation to get up in the morning and go to the gym. But if your friend, neighbor, spouse or child is planning to meet you there, you don't want to let them down. Together you are able to raise each other up. When one person is unmotivated, others can help push them to keep going. And in today`s world, social media can become a major tool in finding people with the same goals and virtually working together to achieve success.

And the benefits? Physical activity is beneficial to the heart. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the latest guides from the American Heart Association suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

Physician's Assistant Viet Le with Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute shared his insight on the effects of exercise on overall wellness.

"Individuals of any age still gain heart benefits from regular physical activity," said Le. "They can lower their heart rate and blood pressure, allowing the heart to do its job more efficiently. And when the heart is happy, other systems in the body function better, too. From improved mental health and acuity to better balance and strength."

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and men. Luckily, heart disease is also preventable, and little changes in your lifestyle can go a long way. Several studies have shown that any physical activity provides a healthy benefit when compared to those who do not exercise or perform physical activity.

What is a Virtual Race?
A virtual race is a race that can be run - or walked - from any location you choose. You get to run your own race, at your own pace, and time it yourself. And your medal will be shipped directly to you.

Along the lines of exercising more, a virtual race is a great way to set a goal, take accountability and get involved with others in a virtual world. But a virtual race doesn't mean you sit on the couch and imagine yourself running a 5k. Nice try, though. It means you get to complete the race when, where and how you want.

For example, once you register for a virtual race, you can walk, jog, run or even snowshoe the 5k at a time and place that works for you. If that`s on a treadmill at the gym or a mountain trail Zion National Park, that`s up to you. And once you complete your race and register your finish time online, a unique finisher medal is mailed to you so you can display it proudly as a goal accomplished. Then you can set your sights on another race and keep moving forward with achieving your goal of more exercise in 2020.

"A virtual race is the perfect excuse to dip one's feet into trying something new, gaining support while meeting new friends, and achieving your goals for better health in 2020," said Le. "And the social media component allows participants to `train` with others, sharing tips, giving motivation and exercising together in different locations via video or audio."

Register for the Intermountain Love Your Heart Race
Intermountain Healthcare has organized the "Love Your Heart" race to help people be successful in achieving their goals in 2020 and improving their heart health. Registrants can sign up to complete a 5k, 10k or half marathon when, where and how they want.

If you want to register, go to: intermountainhelathcare.org/calendar/love-your-heart-race.