Cy­cling tour pro­motes healthy hearts

Heart­land Tour in Cape Bre­ton com­mu­ni­ties on Mon­day

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY GREG MCNEIL

A pro­vin­cial heart health aware­ness cy­cling tour will roll through Cape Bre­ton com­mu­ni­ties on Mon­day.

The ob­jec­tive of the Heart­land Tour is to unify com­mu­ni­ties with a com­mon goal of cre­at­ing a health­ier pop­u­la­tion while pro­mot­ing aware­ness about the high health risks of heart dis­ease and obe­sity.

The Cape Bre­ton stop will be cen­tred around ac­tiv­i­ties at Open Hearth Park in Syd­ney but the tour will make stops in 13 ar­eas as part of a round trip around the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“This year there will be all kinds of or­ga­ni­za­tions par­tic­i­pat­ing and they’ll be there all day do­ing demon­stra­tions for the kids and adults,” said Yolanda LeVert, the com­mu­nity leader for the Cape Bre­ton por­tion of the ride.

“EHS will be at the park to do glu­cose test­ing and blood pres­sure test­ing. Re­ally, it is go­ing to be a fun event and peo­ple can come and go or stay all day.”

A bike draw, nu­tri­tional treats and give­aways are also part of the day. Ac­tiv­i­ties from event par­tic­i­pants in­clude cross fit for kids and adults, a 9 a.m. walk, CBRM fire­fighter dis­plays, the Cana­dian Armed Forces and other events.

LeVert said many peo­ple in the com­mu­nity have stepped up to make park re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties plen­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing.

As for the tour stops, they’ll come ev­ery 15-20 km and in­clude ev­ery­where from Ge­orge Street in Syd­ney, Com­mer­cial Street in Glace Bay and a lunchtime en­gage­ment in Port Morien.

There’s a group of about 20 cy­clists in the core team that’s tour­ing the province. In Syd­ney, an ex­pected group of 25-30 is ex­pected to take part and LeVert said oth­ers are en­cour­aged to take the ride or in­ter­act with the group as they make their way across the com­mu­nity.

“We’ll be go­ing around to make sure the public can see us ride through­out the com­mu­ni­ties and start ask­ing ques­tions,” she said. “‘Who are they and what are they do­ing?’”

Tour founder is Syd­ney na­tive Dr. Ni­cholas Gi­a­co­man­to­nio, a car­di­ol­o­gist at the QEII Health Sciences Cen­tre and pres­i­dent of the Car­diac Cy­cle So­ci­ety of Nova Sco­tia.

The tour pri­or­ity is to in­crease aware­ness and grow fam­ily par­tic­i­pa­tion and un­der­stand­ing that obe­sity and high blood pres­sure trends are a threat to our chil­dren, fam­i­lies and the health care sys­tem.

Email lev­erty@ cb­dha.nshealth.ca or go online to heart­land­tour.ca for more in­for­ma­tion.

GREG MCNEIL/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Yolanda LeVert is the com­mu­nity leader for the Cape Bre­ton por­tion of the an­nual Heart­land Tour. The cy­cling event pro­motes heart health and will be in Cape Bre­ton on Mon­day.

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