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A Heart-Healthy Challenge

October 8, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

A Heart-Healthy Challenge
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

A dozen KELOLAND women are getting the chance to take part in a 16-week program aimed at preventing America's number one killer. The Go Red Challenge will teach the women how to be more heart healthy.

As the producer of KELOLAND News at Ten, Darcy Andersen plays a huge role in making sure people in the area stay informed. But the job often comes with a lot of stress.

"You want to make the best show you can possible for your viewers so you're thinking about what your viewers want and what your managers want. You have people coming to you with questions and you're on a deadline every day," Andersen said.

Andersen, like many people, often uses food to attack stress.

"Some days it's stressful.  So what do you want? You want chocolate. You don't want an apple," Andersen said.

That's one of the reasons Andersen decided to take part in the Go Red Challenge. The 16-week program will help a dozen women improve their heart health.

"One in three women will die of heart disease.  So it is our number one killer. Unfortunately, only 20 percent of women know that," Chrissy Spoo with the American Heart Association said.

Over the next 16 weeks, participants will not only focus on things such as their weight and exercise but also other lifestyle choices such as stress management.

"Like cholesterol, your blood glucose levels, and your blood pressure; there's a whole wealth of other things to look at other than just the number on the scale," Spoo said.

But first, participants are answering a whole list of questions, plus getting vascular and heart screens.

"Some individuals may need more work on the nutrition side of things. They may already have an exercise plan they're working on, so we want to balance that activity and make sure we're creating a program that's customized for the individual," Spoo said.

It's a program Andersen is taking part in not just for herself, but also for her four nieces. Just one look at her desk and you can tell they're the light of her life.

"Just kind of improve my health for them. They're somebody to really try to be a good role model for," Andersen said.

Throughout the next four months, we'll check in with Andersen to see how she's doing in the Go Red Challenge. We'll also bring you advice to help you improve your heart health.

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