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Local association promotes heart health during American heart month

Posted at 2:08 PM, Feb 21, 2019

MILWAUKEE — It’s American heart month, and the American Heart Association is focused on promoting heart health.

“I had no idea what was happening to me at the time. I never would’ve expected something like this. I thought I was as healthy as I could be,” Kim Christenson said.

Christenson is a mother of two, exercises regularly, and she’s even a yoga instructor, but that didn’t stop a heart attack in 2016.

“It was more so a burning sensation that turned into (a) feeling of being torn,” Christenson said.

Christenson’s high cholesterol was to blame at the time — something that’s also prevalent in the African-American community, along with high blood pressure.

“If we can look at all those things, stress, unemployment, people don’t think about that — all the different things that actually lead up to stroke and heart disease, we can prevent them,” Ptosha Davis said.

According to Davis, more than 40 percent of black men and women have high blood pressure. It also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. That’s also why physical activity is so important for kids. Studies suggest kids ages 6-17 should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.

“If we can look at all those things, stress, unemployment, people don’t think about that — all the different things that actually lead up to stroke and heart disease, we can prevent them.” — Ptosha Davis

“I think like with anything else you just want to ingrain this in (a child’s) muscle memory. You want to make it not really the exception but the norm,” said Paul Neuberger, a volunteer with the association.