During their 12 weeks with Renown’s Healthy Heart Program, participants gained more than a healthier lifestyle — they made a new group of friends to support one another through their heart-health journey.
A group of Renown Healthy Heart Program graduates are staying focused on healthier living through a special bond formed during 12 weeks of heart-healthy classes, exercise sessions and cooking demonstrations.
“We’ve become friends, we socialize,” says program graduate Audrey Wager, who spearheaded a recent group trip to the grocery store. “We’ll be having dinners together, and right now we’re sharing what we’ve learned together.”
Wager and her husband, David, also a recent heart program graduate, said the program has transformed changed their lifestyle.
“We went from living to eat — mostly unhealthy food — to eating to live,” Wager says. “Hopefully, we are both going to live a long time.”
Renown Chef Chris Wyatt, who led the cooking classes for the program, joined the group to help guide them towards healthy food choices during their shopping trip.
“Shop the perimeters, definitely,” Wyatt explains. “I usually say ‘get into the supermarket, hang a right and spend a lot of time in the fruit and produce section.’ That’s where you’re going to find the best opportunities for lowfat, low sugar and low-sodium items.”
The Healthy Heart Program is an intensive cardiac rehab program for patients who have suffered a heart attack or other serious heart event and need to make lifestyle changes. The nutrition plan focuses on eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Patients also receive individualized exercise regimens using state-of-the-art gym equipment specially made for heart patients. All the patients receive individual attention from a team of registered nurses, clinical exercise physiologists, registered dietitians and stress management specialists.
Renown Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Director Lynice Anderson, MBA, RD, CDE, says the graduates’ bond is great for accountability, no matter their age or path in life.
“I think those relationships that our patients are forming are as valuable, if not more valuable, than what they are getting in the program, because that may be what carries them on in the future to maintain those lifestyle changes,” Anderson says.
Find out more about Renown’s Heart Healthy Program online or call 775-982-4035.