Protecting your heart. Kroger hosted the Healthy Heart, Happy Mind wellness experience on Saturday, February 13, to bring awareness to women’s heart health during Heart Health Month.

“I just have to start with the most startling statistic from the American Heart Association. One in three women will die of heart disease,” cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum told Us Weekly’s wellness expert Nikki (Walter) Nemickas. “Recent studies are showing that women less than 55 years old have an increased risk of developing heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke.”

Dr. Steinbaum, who is an American Heart Association ambassador with Go Red, noted that these statistics are from a population “we considered so healthy” and yet “we’re seeing an increase in cardiovascular disease.”

Kroger Hosts Healthy Heart, Happy Mind Event Honoring Heart Health Month
Courtesy of The Wellness Experience

She then detailed how she got involved with the AHA and their Go Red initiative, saying she watched a woman have a heart attack in the emergency room and at the time was told, “Women don’t get heart disease.”

That ah-ha moment led to Steinbaum advocating for women’s health and learning how prevalent heart disease is in women.

Nemickas, for her part, detailed her personal connection to heart health, revealing her mother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure a few years back.

“My daughter was 10 at the time and she was a little bit scared to see my mom with oxygen,” the “F…it” podcast host recalled, noting that her daughter gave her grandmother a book to help change her habits to have more time with her, proving she was aware of how important health is.

“Now my mother is four years in on oxygen every day. Of course, health and wellness is a challenge for her,” Nemickas said during the event before asking Steinbaum about how to prevent heart disease.

The doctor explained that while “every single woman who has a heart is at risk for heart disease, 80 percent of the time heart disease is preventable.” She added: “We get to look at our family history but then we get to own our own health. It’s about your whole lifestyle and how you choose to live your life.”

Cheryl Burke also joined the Healthy Heart, Happy Mind event on Saturday to launch her new dance program, Body Language, which incorporates physical, emotional and mental health while learning to listen to your body through movement.

Kroger Hosts Healthy Heart, Happy Mind Event Honoring Heart Health Month
Courtesy of The Wellness Experience

“What makes my dance program different than any other dance program I’ve seen is the fact that mine just focuses more on the therapeutic benefits,” the Dancing With the Stars pro, 36, explained. “I know first-hand that dance has played such a vital role to my therapy and mental health in general.”

To incorporate healthier eating habits during February’s Heart Health month, Kroger enlisted one of its culinary dietitians, Ashley Martinez, who is the host of the “Single and Hungry” podcast, to give viewers a tutorial on making a “Better-for-You” pizza burger as well. She shared the recipe and a step-by-step video as a part of the event.

Yoga instructor Riva G also hosted a virtual fitness class on Saturday, tying in how to find your “calm and focus on the mat and how to apply that to life circumstances off the mat.” The 30-minute practice was presented by Vita Coco and can be done at home.

Kroger’s The Wellness Experience’s presenting sponsor is Molson Coors, whereas the virtual events are sponsored by P&G, Nestle Waters, Campbell’s and American Greetings are all supporters of The Wellness Experience. Plus, the president of Kroger Health, Colleen Lindholz, serves as the executive chair of American Heart Association’s 2021 Heart Mini, further bringing awareness to the cause.

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