BetterU program helps North Country women on a journey to better health

BetterU participants with Crystal Heise (center)

Eight local women are joining the American Heart Association for a life-changing journey. The Go Red for Women BetterU program is a heart healthy makeover from the inside out to help women protect their hearts. The 12-week program is designed to remind all women of the need to make healthy lifestyle choices. The North Country BetterU program is being sponsored by Samaritan Medical Center.

Each of the participants will receive a three-month membership at YMCA with personal training from Kim Couch, a baseline medical evaluation from Samaritan Medical Center, nutrition coaching from Teresa Intorcia and Crystal Heise, and smoking cessation help if needed. The BetterU participants will have group workouts, food shopping field trips, and more.

BetterU participant Dawn Robinson

The goal of the BetterU program is to make heart health a priority for North Country women. The American Heart Association asks each participant to make changes in her own life, as well as inspiring friends and family to do the same.

“We invite all local women to join the BetterU participants in making healthy lifestyle changes. Talk with your healthcare provider, get moving with exercise, take advantage of programs offered in the community, and visit for helpful tips and recipes,” said Stacy Spaziani, Regional Director of the American Heart Association. “Our goal is to make heart health a priority for local women.”

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S., taking the life of one in three women. That’s one woman every 80 seconds. Research shows, however, that 80 percent of cardiac events in women are preventable with simple lifestyle choices involving diet, exercise and smoking.

The BetterU program will conclude in December. The participants will be recognized after the program is completed and will share their stories at the North Country Heart Walk on May 2nd.

The North Country BetterU participants are:

Corey Cuppernell, Watertown – Corey wants to lose weight and learn healthy habits so she can be around for her son for a long time.

Debbie Fazio, Watertown – Debbie wants to quit smoking and make exercise a habit in her life again. She has a history of heart disease in her family and wants to protect her health.

Erin Fazio, Copenhagen – Erin is a diabetic with a family history of heart disease. Her goal is to exercise more and make better nutrition a habit.

Mandy Gregory, Watertown – Mandy wants to learn healthy habits so she can live a long life. Her mother is a 14-year heart transplant survivor.

Regina Laguttata, Watertown – Regina’s goal is to learn proper exercising techniques so she can stay active with rheumatoid arthritis. She also wants to improve her diet to help maintain her overall health.

Stephanie Lucidi, Watertown – Stephanie wants to live a longer, healthier life so she can set the right example for her sons.

Dawn Robinson, Theresa – Heart disease runs in Dawn’s family and she’s working on controlling her high blood pressure. She wants to learn healthy habits to improve her health.

Samantha VanBrocklin, Watertown – Samantha’s goal is to lose weight and sustain her weight loss through healthy eating and exercise. She also wants to inspire her family to join her journey.

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