The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Women Net Positive Results in AHA's Choose To Move

DALLAS, TX - With countless fad diets and quick weight-loss claims, it's no wonder women are skeptical when they hear the words "new exercise plan" or "latest diet program." That's why the American Heart Association found a group of seven women to take the Choose To Move challenge, a free physical activity program that encourages women to include exercise in their busy schedules while also reducing the risk for heart disease, women's No. 1 killer.

Choose To Move Participants

After 12 weeks, these women found Choose To Move a success, resulting in a total weight loss of more than 60 pounds and an average increase of over 5,000 steps per day. In turn, they discovered the benefits of developing a healthier lifestyle through increased physical activity and a nutritious diet - no matter their age or life stage.

In January, the women had a comprehensive physical evaluation at The Cooper Institute in Dallas, receiving blood and cholesterol screenings, treadmill stress tests, diet analysis and physician consultations. Throughout the program, they blogged online and recorded video diaries of their successes and challenges. "One of the most motivating elements of this program was the strength and encouragement I found in other women who joined the challenge," said challenger Kara Byrd of Atlanta. "We all lent and received support that proved crucial in reaching our individual goals. A true support system goes beyond your immediate circle - these six other women are now my family."

"These seven women were proactive by joining Choose To Move's realistic and easy-to-follow program," said Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D., associate professor of medicine and director of Nuclear Cardiology at New York University. "Anyone can start on day one, and 12 weeks later you're guaranteed some outcome that's favorable...favorable for blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight control, as well as the fight to prevent heart disease."

"These bold women have worked hard to become role models for other women who are struggling to stay motivated and active," said Marie Osmond, a spokesperson for the program and a mother of eight whose own mother died of cardiovascular disease in 2004. "It's vitally important for women to pay attention to their health. We all need support when it comes to a routine of proper exercise and healthy eating. Choose To Move is a common-sense solution for all women that promotes healthy bodies and minds."

The free program offers a variety of support materials, including a step-by-step plan, a helpful handbook, monthly e-mails with suggestions for physical activity, tips on how to stay motivated and flavorful recipes that include nutritional information.

"Women who are educated and savvy don't always translate their knowledge about heart disease and prevention into their daily lives," Mieres said. "The Choose To Move program hits close to the heart of real women, letting them know that physical activity is a key component in the fight against heart disease."

Easy-to-use tips include:

Choose To Move is part of the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women national movement to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease as the No. 1 killer of women and inspire women to take action and reduce their risk. Women can register for Choose To Move by visiting or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721).

About the American Heart Association
Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to reducing disability and death from diseases of the heart and stroke. These diseases, America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2005-06 the association invested over $543 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

About the Sponsor
The Mrs. Dash brand is a sponsor of the American Heart Association's Choose To Move program. Every product from Mrs. Dash is made with a unique combination of 14 natural herbs and spices that's salt-free with no MSG. Mrs. Dash 10-Minute Marinades and Hamburger Grilling blend are the latest addition to the Mrs. Dash family of products. Visit for hundreds of delicious, low-salt recipes.