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American Heart Association

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February is Heart Health Awareness month, so read on for all the exciting events and activities the American Heart Association has planned around the city!

Join a celebration of heart health at Cincy Chic’s annual Lady in Red event on February 3 at Macy’s in downtown Cincinnati.

Did you know that Cardiovascular Disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year? The American Heart Association in Cincinnati is an organization that wants to improve people’s heart health.

“The mission of the AHA/ASA is to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” says Lori Fovel, Director of Communications for the AHA in Cincinnati. “That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question.” It is Fovel’s job to tell AHA’s story and have Cincinnati connect to the mission. The goal of the AHA is to improve the cardiovascular health of people by 20 percent, and reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.

Fovel has personal experience with heart problems in her family. Recently, her husband, who is an athletic and fit 54-year-old, had a heart attack. “He had a blockage in one artery, which required a stent. This event hit very close to home as you can imagine,” Fovel says. “After sharing stories of those who have been affected by cardiovascular disease for so many years, it got very personal when it happened to my own husband. Heart disease doesn’t discriminate and touches people of all ages, ethnicities and gender.”

The month of February is National Heart Month. The Christ Hospital Health Network plays a big part in the month’s festivities “Their support enables us to activate grassroots programs in our community, such as Learn and Live days at all girls’ high schools to share the message that heat health begins at an early age,” says Fovel. “They also participate in our Little Caps Big Hearts campaign that provides hand knitted baby caps to all newborns in February. Moms receive take home information about heart health.”

To raise awareness for heart health, the AHA of Cincinnati is going to host multiple events. February 3 is going to be National Wear Red Day. “It’s a call to action to raise awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of all Americans,” says Fovel. “Why go red? Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one women every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we have the power to change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.”

You can paint the town red as you wear your red on Feb. 3 at the 8th annual Lady in Red event at Macy’s downtown. From 6-10pm, you can enjoy a 20% store-wide* Macy’s discount, fashion show, music, swag bag, refreshments, fun photo booth and fundraising activities. All proceeds benefit the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. Click here for more information and to reserve your tickets.

The next day, February 4, there is a Ride Your Heart Out event. This event consists of “indoor cycling classes that are happening all over the country, hosted by our CycleNation sponsor, CycleBar. The proceeds from this event go to AHA.”

Another event happening is Kendra Scott in Liberty Center. Kendra Scott is a store, and 20 percent of the sales for the whole day will go to AHA. “Dollars raised are used to support local heart and stroke research, educational programs and advocacy efforts,” she says. At Kendra Scott, there will also be a mini event, “Sips, Sweets, and Jewels” from 5-8pm, where there is going to be door prizes, sweets, and drinks. There are also a variety of other events happening, such as the Greater Cincinnati Heart Ball, Heart Mini, and HeartChase NKY.

To keep up with what the AHA is doing, you can follow them on Facebook or check out the Heart Mini’s page; Instagram for both the Cincinnati AHA and the Heart Mini, and on Twitter.

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Want to improve heart health while supporting a great cause? See why the American Heart Association has a special place in their heart for CycleBar Cincinnati.

CycleBar Cincinnati is the Official Cross Training Program of the American Heart Association.
CycleBar Cincinnati is the Official Cross Training Program of the American Heart Association.

CycleBar Cincinnati is a boutique indoor cycling studio, and it’s the first of its kind in the Tri-State. According to CycleBar Cincinnati Owner Vince Czepukaitis, the studio focuses all of its energy on the rider experience and is dedicated to indoor cycling.

There are no contracts or memberships with CycleBar Cincinnati and riders can even reserve a specific bike up to one week in advance. “Shoes, water bottles, fruit and other amenities are always free,” says Czepukaitis.

However, he says, the real magic begins once a rider enters the CycleTheatre. It’s a concert theatre experience as much as it’s a workout. There are CycleStar instructors that lead the class and the CycleStats performance metrics on the bikes tell riders how they’re each doing – during class and in an email afterward.

The studio’s state-of-the-art system provides CycleBeats playlists to each rider every class. “There are also video concert rides, DJ rides and playlists that change every time, so you don’t have to worry about listening to the same old playlist, you’re just as entertained and exhilarated each class as you are challenged,” says Czepukaitis.

Riders are encouraged to ride at their own pace, even on the more challenging rides. To help newbies acclimate, CycleBar Cincinnati offers free introductory rides on each Saturday to help those who are new to CycleBar – or cycling in general – familiarize themselves with the bikes, how CycleStats work and how to be successful on a ride.

The rides at CycleBar Cincinnati provide 50 minutes of high-intensity cycling including what the American Heart Association recommends for maintaining overall cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five a day per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week in addition to moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least twice per week. The American Heart Association also recommends that individuals who want to lower their blood pressure or cholesterol also get an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity three or four times per week.

Just recently, CycleBar was named the Official Cross Training Program of the American Heart Association. “CycleBar has made a commitment to give back to the community,” explains Czepukaitis. CycleBar hosts charity rides for many causes and this year they decided to name the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women the primary charity. “As part of our commitment, we are sponsoring a Go Red Ride every month where 100 percent of your $25 donation goes to Go Red for Women,” he adds.

But that’s not all. CycleBar Cincinnati is also now the Official Cross Training Program of the Heart Mini. This means that riders who want to join the CycleBar team get five free rides as well as private training rides, a CycleBar race shirt and other perks. According to Czepukaitis, as of January 29, CycleBar Cincinnati had the most riders on their team and was in fifth place for team fundraising.

“With a shared mission to encourage heart health through physical activity, CycleBar and the American Heart Association are working together to foster a culture of health in Greater Cincinnati,” explains Jenni Grammar, director of Go Red for Women. “In addition to raising awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of women, CycleBar is raising funds for the AHA through monthly Go Red rides. Thanks to supporters like CycleBar, we will make huge strides in the cardiovascular health of Tri-State women.”

There are plenty of new things on the horizon for CycleBar Cincinnati. The indoor cycling studio plans to launch into the franchise market and expect to have more Cincinnati locations soon, as well as many as 25 new cities (in addition to the Detroit and Boston legacy studios) by 2016.

Czepukaitis says they’re adding a heart monitor program as part of the Performance Rides in February. “This is a great way for us to further our commitment to heart-based health,” he adds.

CycleBar Cincinnati is located in Rookwood Commons, near Whole Foods and DSW, at 2713 Edmondson Road in Cincinnati. To learn more about CycleBar Cincinnati, click here. You can also like them on Facebook and follow along on Twitter.

“Stop by the studio and check it out,” says Czepukaitis. “It is unlike any other cycling offering in this region.”