Waccamaw residents take steps to improve health in Waccamaw Area Heart Walk

Below is a news release for the American Heart Association's Waccamaw Area Heart Walk, an event proudly sponsored by WMBF News:

Myrtle Beach, SC - More than 2,000 Waccamaw residents are expected to take steps to improve their heart health Saturday, October 12 when they participate in the American Heart Association's Waccamaw Area Heart Walk at the Market Common - Grand Park.

The annual event, which raises funds to fight heart disease and stroke, America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers, begins at 9:00am with registration and the 3.3 mile walk begins at 10:00am. The non-competitive walk includes teams of employees from local companies, along with friends and family members of all ages.

"For every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours," says Dennis Wade, President and CEO of The Jackson Companies and 2013 Waccamaw Area Heart Walk Chair. "That's a 'healthy' return on investment, and one that we hope will inspire participants to take up walking regularly."

Each day, nearly 2,400 Americans die from a cardiovascular disease. That's an average of one death every 39 seconds. A leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke is lack of physical activity. Research has also found that individuals may gain two hours of life expectancy for every one hour of regular, vigorous exercise they do.

Each year more than 813,000 Americans die from heart disease, that's over 33 percent of all deaths in the United States. Heart disease is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attack.

• Heart disease was the second leading cause of death in South Carolina for 2011, resulting in 9,282 deaths in 2011.

• Heart disease accounted for 52,746 hospitalizations in South Carolina during 2011, with a total hospitalization cost of more than $2.74 billion.

Wade declares, "Our hope is that the Waccamaw Area Heart Walk will help jump start a culture of healthy living among participants and increase passion for supporting the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association."

The annual success of the Waccamaw Heart Walk is due to Waccamaw businesses such as HTC - Horry Telephone Cooperative, Georgetown Hospital System, and McLeod Loris Seacoast. Heart Walk is nationally sponsored by Subway Restaurants and Jenny Craig.

The 2013 Waccamaw Heart Walk's fundraising goal is $250,000.

For information on participating in the Heart Walk, call the American Heart Association at 843-282-2907 or visit www.waccamawheartwalk.org